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Shell science lab challenge

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In the fourth annual Shell Science Lab Challenge, 18 middle school and secondary school teachers have been named district winners. Sponsored by Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the competition encouraged teachers in the US and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school lab makeover support package valued at US$ 20 000. From the 18 district winners named, five national finalists will be chosen, and from the national finalists a grand prize winner will be selected.

Challenge criteria

To enter the challenge, science teachers of grades 6 – 12 in the US and Canada were asked to describe their school’s current laboratory resources, explain why the school’s laboratory facilities might be classified as ‘limited’ resources, and describe their approach to science education instruction utilising their school’s current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries.


Dr. Frazier Wilson, VP, Shell Oil Company Foundation, Manager, Social Investment said, ‘inquiry based learning and hands on experimentation are key elements for encouraging student interest in science. The Shell Science Lab Challenge strives to support inquiry based instructional practices of our science teachers and excite students about the wonders and possibilities of science through active learning that emphasises questioning, data analysis, and critical thinking. Exemplary science teaching is more relevant when it occurs in a quality lab environment where science concepts can be explored by students.’

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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