Title: RMAG & RMAG Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching Earth Sciences 2012
Publication: The Outcrop, November 2012, p. 20
The 2012 recipient of the RMAG Excellence in Teaching Award is Ms. Marcia Aden. Marcia earned a B.S. degree in Biology, in 1980 from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado in 2005, and has been a teacher for 23 years. Currently, she is a 7th grade teacher at Overland Trail Middle School in Brighton.
Marcia has found that introducing students to the wonders of the natural world of science is one of the greatest pleasures in her life and she quotes Euripides: “Blessed is the man whose lot it is to know the secrets of the earth.” Her geology curriculum includes sessions on plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes, weathering and erosion, the rock cycle, fossilization, and geologic time. Her style is a rigorous, hands-on,
inquiry based approach. Recognizing that her 7th graders are curious, idealistic,
and just beginning to find their trajectories in life, her goal is to create a classroom where possibly, a door might open that will let science into their future.
For the past 4 years, Overland Middle School has hosted the “Whoa Dude Science Expo,” in which Marcia has an active role. The program has provided the students through hands-on workshops, an opportunity to broaden their exposure to other science and engineering disciplines. Over 20 visiting scientists participate in the program and mentor the students in hands-on workshops, covering a wide range of topics from aeronautics and space exploration, to geology and oil and gas exploration. Marcia is also active in the MESA Science Club, (Mathematics Excellence and Science Achievement) which is a thriving after school program. Every fall, Marcia leads her students to the field for a
geology-paleontology multi-day experience. Her students have been to Dinosaur Ridge and Red Rocks, Cave of the Winds, the Florissant Fossil beds, the Comanche Grasslands, and Picketwire Canyon. In addition to her work in the MESA program, she has also taken her 7th graders on field trips to Dinosaur Ridge, and the Argo Gold Mine.
Marcia Aden is an exceptional teacher and an outstanding example of those dedicated educators who make a significant and positive impact on our children. It is to people like Marcia that we owe our gratitude for developing young minds and planting the seed for an interest and appreciation of geology. She represents the best of those who teach earth science and is a very deserving educator worthy to be presented the RMAG’s 2012 Teacher of the Year Award.
A subcommittee of the K-12 Education and Public Outreach Committee solicits and judges applications submitted by teachers from the Front Range area. At the September 5 RMAG luncheon, Marcia was presented with a cash award and a plaque provided by the RMAG Foundation. The Teacher of the Year program is now in its twelfth year, and it is through the generous donations and supporters of the Foundation that make this all possible.