Mary Fitts, an eighth grade earth sciences teacher at Sierra Middle School in Parker, Colo., has been named 2008 AAPG Earth Science Teacher of the Year.
Fitts is being honored for her teaching philosophy, which encourages students to engage in inquiry-based scientific studies in the classroom and then apply the solutions to real world events.
She was nominated by the Rocky Mountain Section.
The national award of $5,000, funded annually by the AAPG Foundation, will be split with $2,500 designated for educational use at Sierra Middle School under Fitts’ supervision and the other half for her personal use.
She also will receive an all-expense paid trip to the AAPG Annual Convention in San Antonio April 20-23, where she will be presented with her award at the All-Convention Luncheon.
Fitts received her bachelor’s degree in geology from Rice University and worked as a soils geologist before choosing a teaching career. She believes that being an Earth sciences teacher is rewarding because “kids are naturally curious about their world, and love to learn about ‘their Earth’ in a variety of ways.”
An interview with Fitts will be featured in the April convention issue of the EXPLORER.