Prizes go to a teacher, a lecturer, a technician and a researcher

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has recognised four individuals for their contributions to chemistry education.


From left: Frank Scullion, Suzanne Fergus, John Fosbraey and Georgios Tsaparlis

Frank Scullion

The Schools Education award goes to Frank Scullion, head of chemistry at Loreto College, Coleraine, UK.

Frank was nominated for his sustained high quality teaching and the use of a variety of methods to inspire students and encourage them to learn beyond the classroom. His special interest is in developing e-learning resources.

Starting in 2007, with a 10-year plan, he set out to produce freely available online video lessons to cover the GCSE and A-level chemistry curriculums. So far, he has published over 600 videos on his YouTube channel.

Frank said: ‘I am thrilled and deeply honoured to have received this award from the RSC. It will serve to inspire and motivate me to continue working in chemistry education long into my retirement years.’

Suzanne Fergus

The Higher Education Teaching award winner is Suzanne Fergus, principal lecturer in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Suzanne received her award for her sustained innovation in the teaching and assessment of chemistry. She has introduced pre-lab questionnaires, established a wiki that encourages critical reflection and implemented the student collaboration tool, Peerwise.

Suzanne commented: ‘I am extremely honoured to have been selected to receive this award. I believe that innovative teaching approaches can transform how our students learn chemistry.’

John Fosbraey

The Higher Education Technician of the Year award has been awarded to John Fosbraey. John is a senior technician in the teaching labs at the University of Southampton, and has been at the university for nearly 15 years.

David Read, professorial fellow in chemical education, said: ‘John has evolved his role into that of a dedicated teacher who takes every opportunity to assist students in developing their practical skills in a safe and welcoming environment. He goes far beyond what would be expected of someone in his role, and helps to inspire students to excel in their laboratory work.’

Georgios Tsaparlis

The Education award winner is Georgios Tsaparlis, professor emeritus of science education at the University of Ioannina, Greece. He was nominated for his extensive contributions to chemistry education research, including having been a founding editor of the journal Chemistry Education Research and Practice.

He has written or co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and chapters in 13 books.

Georgios commented: ‘It is a great honour to have been selected to receive this award. I am proud to have contributed to the advancement of our understanding of what a student does in a learning environment, especially when trying to grasp a chemical concept or to solve a chemistry problem.’