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Volunteer Opportunities: The Director's Award

Exceptional Volunteer Service To Fermilab's K-12 Education Programs

The many successes of Fermilab's K-12 education programs depend on the talents of the over 200 volunteers who help out each year. It is these people we want to honor with the Director's Award. These volunteers are role models and mentors for teachers and students, answer tough questions about Fermilab and its science, maintain Lederman Science Center exhibits, visit area classrooms and more.

An annual award of $1,000, made possible by an anonymous donor to Fermilab Friends for Science Education, recognizes one volunteer a year whose contributions are exceptional, even among the many outstanding volunteer supporters of Fermilab's K–12 education programs. Each fall, Fermilab staff are invited to nominate volunteers for the award and Fermilab's Director hosts a volunteers reception and announces the award winner.

Nominations Closed for the 2014 Director's Award

The award ceremony will be at the Volunteers Reception on the 2nd Floor Crossover, Wilson Hall at 5 PM on October 20th.


Last Year's Winner


2013 - Todd Johnson
Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of Todd Johnson to our K–12 education programs. Todd has demonstrated an outstanding ability to connect with students both in person and through exhibits. He speaks with hundreds of students and Scouts visiting the Lab every year, and reaches thousands more by designing and building exhibits that are creative, visually engaging, and scientifically rich. Todd's dedication to reaching students in a variety of ways enhances the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read the Fermilab Today article.

Previous Winners


2012 - Don Lincoln
Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional and numerous contributions of Don Lincoln to our K–12 education programs. Outstanding among his contributions is his time talking with student groups that visit Fermilab. Don always learns about a group before meeting them, and is excellent at finding the right level for any group. He has contributed to our classroom presentation program and to public events such as Ask-a-Scientist, as well as developing videos for the public. His dedication to communicating particle physics and his generosity with his time enhance the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read the Fermilab Today article.

2011 - Dave Schmitz
Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional and varied contributions of David Schmitz to our K–12 education programs. Outstanding among his contributions is his work to engage students on field trips, in their classrooms, and in the public arena. As one-half of the FUNdamentals of Physics team, he shares his excitement and joy for physics with hundreds of students each year at events including the Fermilab Family Open House and DASTOW. His dedication to these and other programs and his generosity with his time enhance the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read Dave's Quantum Diaries blog about presenting at LabFest and the Fermilab Today article.

2010 - Michael Cooke
Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional and varied contributions of Michael Cooke to our K–12 education programs. Outstanding among his efforts is his work with classroom presentations. In addition to presenting to hundreds of students each year, he has refined, enhanced, and restructured one of our most popular presentations. He is always an eager and willing contributor to events such as LabFest, the FFSE Open House, DASTOW, and Fermilab field trips. His dedication to these and other programs and his generosity with his time enhance the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.

2009 - Suzanne Weber

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of Suzanne Weber to the Saturday Morning Physics program over 20 years. Her support has been integral to Saturday Morning Physics, which has influenced the lives of thousands of high school physics students, some of whom have returned to work at the Lab. Her long-term support of and dedication to this program has enhanced the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.

2008 - Jean Slaughter

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional and varied contributions of Jean Slaughter to our K–12 programs. Outstanding among her efforts is her work with classroom presentations. As a presenter, recruiter, and trainer, she helps to reach thousands of students each year. She also mentors high school teachers involved in research physics at the highest level through the Fermilab/University of Chicago QuarkNet Center. Her dedication to these and other programs and her generosity with her time have enhanced the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.

2007 - Jerry Zimmerman

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of Jerry Zimmerman, a.k.a. "Mr. Freeze," to our K–12 programs with his long-term efforts to educate students, their teachers and families, and the general public, on cryogenic science. His shows inform, entertain, and inspire thousands of students each year. His dedication to this program and his generosity with his time have enhanced the Laboratory's reputation in both education and science research.
Read more in Symmetry Magazine and the Fermilab Today article.

2006 - Curtis Danner

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of your outstanding volunteer service to the Fermilab K–12 education programs, in particular your efforts associated with the exhibits at the Leon M. Lederman Science Education Center. The exhibits are a highlight for thousands of visitors who come to the Center annually.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.

2005 - Mike Albrow

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of Michael Albrow to our K–12 programs with his effort to bring the World Year of Physics to 10,000 students at area schools. He has inspired a group of dedicated volunteers who have offered nine presentations for students in grades 2 to 12. He has enhanced both the Laboratory's reputation in education and science research in the area's classrooms.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.

2004 - Sten Hansen

Citation: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory recognizes the exceptional contributions of Sten Hansen to our K–12 programs with his QuarkNet work on data acquisition systems for cosmic ray telescopes. Over a number of years his work has driven the prototype development, utilizing creative engineering and intellectual input. He has enhanced both the Laboratory's national reputation in education and science research in the nation's classrooms.
Read more in the Fermilab Today article.