Professor emeritus John E. Penick was honored for his national leadership in science education by the National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning.
Penick, who retired in 2009 after a decade at the university, received the association’s most prestigious award, the Robert H. Carleton Award, at a national conference in Texas last month. The award includes a $5,000 grant from the Dow Chemical Company.
Penick began his career as a biology and chemistry teacher at Jackson High School, an inner-city high school in Miami, Fla., where he also served as science department chair. He taught at Miami-Dade Junior College, Loyola University and the University of Iowa before joining NC State, where he headed the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.
Over his career he received more than $6 million in research funding and worked in 35 countries on a wide range of projects, including teaching university faculty in Indonesia, evaluating teacher workshops in Portugal, designing a science education center in Venezuela and translating an elementary science curriculum from Portuguese to English.
He served as the North American representative to the International Council of Associations for Science Education, and was a member of its executive committee from 1985 to 2009.