The SPARK Award recognizes distinguished contributions to science education through diverse activities, including (but not limited to) teaching, outreach, advocacy and public engagement. It is given annually at our Spring Fundraiser, Ignite the Night.
For the 2020 SPARK Award, the museum is looking for a person who captures that inspiring spirit by igniting the spark of curiosity about science in people of all ages and backgrounds.
2019: Christopher Lowell
Lowell, the 2019 winner of the SPARK Award, has stepped into the character of Benjamin Franklin to engage nearly 25,000 school kids and such diverse audiences as corporate executives and the French government (to which, mind you, he gave his entire presentation in fluent French). True to the historical figure he portrays, Lowell has sparked interest in science and invention all around the globe.
2018: Melissa Rice
Dr. Rice was the SPARK Award’s 2018 winner. She has gained distinction as a science advocate through engagement with the public as well as with her students at Western Washington University, where she is a professor in both geology and physics and astronomy. In addition to collaborating with scientists at NASA laboratories, Rice actively involves WWU students in her research at the frontiers of planetary science.