The European Commissioner for Research Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, presented Jim Cooke with a Special Recognition of Achievement for Inspiring Students in Science last week.
Mr Cooke received the award for his career-long contribution to science education and his demonstration of excellence and dedication as a science teacher. He taught at Synge Street Christian Brothers School from 1971 until his retirement in 2009.
The event took place on board the RV Celtic Explorer at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin, as part of the European Science Open Forum (ESOF 2012). It was attended by a wide community of scientists, science teachers and students celebrating the inspirational roles of teachers in science and their vision to advance student learning and achievement.
“Studies tell us that an inspirational teacher is one of the most important factors in encouraging students to study STEM subjects at third level. Europe needs one million new researchers, and their journey into science very often begins in the classroom of an inspirational teacher.”
- European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
BT Young Scientist winners
Mr Cooke was mentor for:
- Two projects that won the BT Young Scientist Exhibition (Rónán Larkin in 2004 and Abdusalam Abubakar in 2007)
- Three projects that achieved second place (Michael Mulhall and Francis Wasser in 2005, Gohar Abbassi in 2006 and Andrei Triffo in 2009)
- Many other projects achieving high placing in the competition
At last week’s event he expressed his gratitude and said: “Over the many years at Synge Street, we created a very ambitious science curriculum in which the students have had to develop their capacity for critical thinking and creativity. Our success over the 30 years was immensely gratifying to all of us.
“The school’s contribution to the development of science education and the enabling of pupils to discover a love for science, passion and enthusiasm for lifelong learning continues to be important for scientific research which underpins improvements in our human welfare, employment creation and economic development.”