Edward C. Roy Jr. Award For Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching

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Overview of the Award

The purpose of this award is to honor the memory of Dr. Edward C. Roy Jr., who was a past president of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), a professor at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and a recipient of both the Ian Campbell Medal and the Heroy Distinguished Service Award. He was a lifelong supporter of teachers and students of all ages and served for a number of years as chair of the AGI Education Advisory Committee. The award is designed to recognize one teacher of grades K-8 (or Key Stages 1-3 in the United Kingdom) each year for their leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award consists of a $2500 prize for the winning teacher and a grant of up to $1500 to enable the recipient to attend the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) National Conference in the spring of 2024. The winning teacher and their school each will receive a plaque of recognition.

The application deadline for the 2025 competition is January 17, 2025.

2017 Winner Spotlight - M.J. Tykoski


To be eligible, an applicant must be a full-time U.S. or U.K. classroom teacher who currently provides instruction in Earth science at the K-8 level with all the responsibilities of such a position. 

The following documents need to be included in the online application packet:

  • Current curriculum vitae or resume with complete contact information, professional development experience, and awards.

  • Letter of recommendation from the teacher’s principal on school letterhead.

  • Letters of recommendation (with contact information and on letterhead) from two other education professionals who have observed the applicant teaching Earth science (district science supervisor, teaching colleague, team leader, colleague, etc.).

  • Exemplary Earth system science lesson plan (including any handouts) that emphasizes an inquiry-based and/or phenomenon-based approach.

    • Provide an introductory paragraph that provides a rationale for how this lesson fits into the curriculum and aligns with (and may have been altered to address) the needs of students being taught.

    • The lesson plan must include key instructional elements, such as: objectives, student outcomes, key concepts, materials used, safety guidelines, lesson procedure, and assessment methods.

    • Lesson plans that include evidence of having been taught are preferred, but this is not required (this evidence may be photos, student artifacts with names removed, and so on—limited to two pages). Please comply with your local guidelines for sharing student work and/or images.

  • Essay (750 words maximum) describing the importance of teaching Earth science to students and how the applicant inspires students to learn Earth science concepts. The essay should also include information on how the applicant augments their own Earth science understanding as an adult learner. Statements about the potential impact of the Ed Roy Jr. Award on the applicant’s career path are also welcome.

Applicants will be judged on their dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching Earth science, as well as their expertise in crafting and delivering Earth science instruction for their students. Applicants will also be judged on their demonstrated commitment to improving their own expertise as an Earth science educator through lifelong learning.

Questions? Please email us at awards@americangeosciences.org