Fall 2011 Faculty News

Kortenkamp receives teaching award

Kudos to PTYS/LPL adjunct faculty member Steven Kortenkamp, recipient of the 2011 College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award.

Steve regularly teaches one of our Tier II General Education classes---PTYS 206 (Golden Age of Planetary Exploration). His teaching evaluations are consistently excellent and his approach to the course is always innovative. Whether it is adopting a new approach to testing (lottery-ticket-style exams that give students instant feedback) or programming his own animations of celestial relationships when he finds the existing ones inadequate, he doesn't feel confined by how things have been done before. Steve has begun trying to improve K-12 education in the topics he is teaching. He is moving toward making his animations available to K-12 teachers, using the lessons learned from his work in the classroom here to have a wider impact on astronomy education at all levels. Taking the idea of pre-college preparation even a step further, he is also the author of a series of well-received astronomy-oriented books for children.

When he is not teaching college students or writing science texts for children, Steve is a full-time Senior Scientist at the Planetary Research Institute in Tucson.

Congratulations, Steve!