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Mr F. Scullion, Head of Chemistry and Senior Teacher, winner of the 2016 Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Education Award - View Full Size Image
Mr F. Scullion, Head of Chemistry and Senior Teacher, winner of the 2016 Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Education Award
09/05/2016 COLERAINE CHEMISTRY TEACHER WINS PRESTIGIOUS ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY AWARD

Frank Scullion, from Loreto College, in Coleraine, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools Education Award winner for 2016, recognising almost four decades of excellence and innovation in teaching.

The Schools Education Award is presented to a teacher or team who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to teach chemistry and inspire students at any pre-university level. It can either be awarded to recognise excellence over a prolonged period of time or for making a large impact in a short period of time.

Frank will receive a prize of £2,000, a medal and certificate, and an opportunity to share his expertise and ideas with many other teachers. The school science department also receives £1,000.

On receiving his award, Frank said: “I am thrilled and deeply honoured to have received this award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Chemistry has already given me so much in my life and I would never have dreamed of receiving this special recognition. It will serve to inspire and motivate me to continue working with chemistry education long into my retirement years.”

An illustrious list of 47 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “It is an honour to recognise the illustrious achievements of our prize and award winners in our 175th anniversary year.

We were founded in 1841 by a group of academics, industrialists and doctors who understood the power of the chemical sciences to change our world for the better. Our winners share that vision and are advancing excellence in their fields, whether through innovative research or inspirational teaching and outreach.

We are proud to celebrate and support the work of inspiring and influential individuals, whose work has the potential to improve so many lives.”

Award winners are evaluated for their significant contributions to chemistry education, which can be shown in innovative and effective teaching, resource development or high quality education research. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to positively influence students and colleagues at all levels of education

Frank reflects on what he has gained from his teaching career, saying: “Now in my 37th year as a teacher, I have found my life in chemistry education enormously interesting, enjoyable and rewarding. Always keen to embrace new teaching and learning resources, I latched onto eLearning strategies as early as the birth of the internet, creating my first chemistry website in the late 1990s.

Several years before YouTube came on the scene, I was already creating and uploading chemistry videos to Google’s earliest video-platform.

Throughout the last decade, I have learnt to use a range of software packages that enable me to create eLearning resources for teaching chemistry online. My main focus has been on the use of animation software, as it lends itself perfectly to the task of explaining what happens at the molecular level. My most successful and most popular efforts include lessons providing simplified explanations of instrumental analysis, electrolysis, galvanic cells, organic mechanisms and laboratory techniques.

There are of course many excellent UK-based websites supporting chemistry education. I have deliberately avoided trying to replicate what they do. Instead, I have sought to develop different kinds of resources that complement their efforts. As well as the video lessons, I have employed PDF editing software to produce question banks with answers and electronic quizzing software to promote independent formative assessment.

“I have created chemistry mind maps, Excel workbooks for Physical Chemistry computations and I have utilised peer-to-peer platforms such as Google Hangouts and Skype to teach pupils live in their own homes. In recent months, for example, I used Skype to work with this year’s Northern Ireland Chemistry Olympiad winner.

While I plan to retire from teaching in a couple of years, the notion of retiring from chemistry education has never entered my head. Why would it, when it has given me so much pleasure and satisfaction?”

Rewarding Excellence and Gaining Recognition

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. We want to reward those undertaking excellent work in the chemical sciences from across the world.

There are over 60 Prizes and Awards available in the main portfolio, covering all areas of the chemical sciences.  So whether you work in research, business, industry or education, recognition is open to everyone.

An illustrious list of 47 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 53,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, we are the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision of the future. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

More information on Royal Society of Chemistry Prizes and Awards