NEWTON, MA | October 26, 2006
Karen Worth, a senior researcher and longtime science educator at Education Development Center (EDC), has received the prestigious puRkwa Prize, an international award created to encourage innovative science education for young children. Worth traveled to France to receive the award in Ste Etienne at the highly regarded Ecole National Superieur des Mines de Ste Etienne, a graduate school for science and technology. She shares the 2006 prize with Wei Yu, a professor at China’s Nanjing University. Worth is a senior research scientist in EDC’s Center for Science Education.
Presented to Worth for her achievements during a 20-year career at EDC, the award jury commended the toolkits, curriculum units, and professional development resources she has helped develop to improve science teaching and learning for children ages 3 to 5 and in the elementary years. Resources for teachers called Connecting Science and Literacy, and the Discovering Nature with Young Children and The Young Scientist curriculum series, Insights, as well as Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools, a book written with EDC’s Sharon Grollman, were all acknowledged as part of Worth’s many years as a specialist in science education for young children, dedicated to promoting and teaching scientific reasoning.
Worth, who has been at EDC since 1984, has led a number of projects on science education reform. She began her career as a first grade teacher in New York City and curriculum and staff developer for EDC’s African Primary Science Program. A member of the development team for the National Science Education Standards, she has worked with districts across the country engaged in science education reform for elementary schools and early childhood programs. In addition to her work at EDC, she also teaches early childhood and elementary education at Boston’s Wheelock College.
The name of the puRkwa award is derived phonetically from “pourquoi,” meaning “why” in French. Launched in 2004 at the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, the prize carries an award of 40,000 euros (50,000 dollars).