James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

Sponsor: Conant Award Endowment

Purpose: To recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry in the United States, its possessions or territories, at the national level.

Nature: The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $2,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. A certificate will also be provided to the recipient's institution for display.

Eligibility: The award will be granted regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, and educational background. Any individual, except a member of the award selection committee or currently enrolled student of the nominee, may submit one nomination or support letter in any given year. Local sections are especially encouraged to submit nominations for the award. The nominee must be actively engaged in the teaching of chemistry in a high school (grades 9-12). The nomination should clearly demonstrate as many of the following attributes of the nominee as possible:

  1. Quality of teaching (unusually effective methods of presentation should be emphasized)
  2. Ability to challenge and inspire students
  3. Extracurricular work in chemistry including science fairs, science clubs, and activities that stimulate the interest of young people in chemistry and related sciences
  4. Willingness to keep up-to-date in the field, as evidenced by pursuit of a higher degree in chemistry, enrollment in refresher courses and summer institutions, regular attendance at scientific meetings, and other means of self-improvement

The nomination should include a nominee-authored statement of not more than 500 words which describes the nominee’s beliefs about teaching and learning, how those beliefs have developed, and specific examples of how those beliefs have been put into practice. This statement should be included in the section where any publications or patents are listed.

One support letter is required. A second support letter is optional, but strongly encouraged. Support letters may include careful evaluations of the teacher's effectiveness by a supervisor or principal, by associates, or by members of the Society who have visited the nominee's classes. Letters from currently enrolled high school students are not acceptable, but letters from former students may be included. Retired teachers are not eligible for this award.

Deadline: November 1

Establishment & Support: The award was established in 1965 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. which supported it from 1967 to 1972. The award was sponsored by the Ethyl Corporation from 1980 to 1993 and by the Chemical Education Material Study from 1975 to 1979. The Albemarle Corp. sponsored the award from 1994 to 2004.  The ACS sponsored the award in 1973, 1974, 2005, and 2006. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. sponsored the award from 2007 to 2016. In 2017, the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X established the Conant Award Endowment to support the award.

Contact Information

Awards Office
American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-4801
Phone: 202-872-4575
Fax: 202-776-8008


2021: Shea Wickelson

2020: Michael A. Morgan

2019: Derrick C. Wood

2018: Brian John Kennedy

2017: Laura E. Slocum

2016: Julia Winter

2015: Jenelle L. Ball

2014: Kathleen A. Kitzmann

2013: Stephen Radice

2012: Roxie Allen

2011: Jesse D. Bernstein

2010: Jeffrey Hepburn

2009: Sally B. Mitchell

2008: Richard Goodman

2007: Eleanor W. Siegrist

2006: Gwendolyn S. Marbury

2005: Annis Hapkiewicz

2004: Toni A. Watt

2003: Linda K. Ford

2002: Theresa R. Corley

2001: Barbara Pressey Sitzman

2000: Frank G. Cardulla

1999: John L. Ihde

1998: Maria R. Walsh

1997: Robert D. Becker

1996: David Pysnik

1995: Robert J. Lewis

1994: Lee Marek

1993: Michael J. Bannon

1992: Lois Fruen

1991: Mary E. Key

1990: John Liebermann, Jr.

1989: Clifford L. Schrader

1988: Edmund J. Escudero

1987: Mary C. Johnson

1986: Ronald I. Perkins

1985: Douglas D. Smith

1984: Douglas A. Halsted

1983: Janet A. Harris

1982: Robert Roe, Jr.

1981: Floyd F. Sturtevant

1980: Evelyn R. Bank

1979: Shirley E. Richardson

1978: Samuel H. Perlmutter

1977: Sidney P. Harris

1976: Dorthea H. Hoffmann

1975: George W. Stapleton

1974: Wallace J. Gleekman

1973: Melvin Greenstadt

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2019 recipient Derrick C. Wood (second to left) is presented his award by sponsor representative, Ellen J. Yezierski (second to right), Norbert J. Pienta (right), and Bonnie A. Charpentier, ACS President (left).
Photo by Loris Guzzetta/ACS