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Teaching with a bang earns a big award

Darren Ng’s passion for his work is said to be contagious, as he employs what he calls “exhibition learning” with his students at NWSS. And that excitement is not only reflected in the way he teaches and inspires others, but also in the physical tools he uses, “If it can pop, ooze, zap, explode, or bounce, chances are you will find it in one of my science lessons” he said.

This is why it feels so appropriate that Darren has just been named as the inaugural recipient of the Gorden Gore Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching … as awarded by his colleagues at the BC Association of Physics Teachers.

The prize is named after the late Dr. Gordon Gore, an inspirational BC teacher who passed away last year, leaving behind a legacy of encouraging kids to learn through exploration … which if you take a moment to watch Darren’s “Science Ninjas Demo Club” video from this year, you can see is a lesson and style he really takes to heart.

 

Darren is relatively new to our District, having joined the New Westminster Schools team three years ago, but he has come in with a bang. And not even COVID could slow down his desire to engage students: Darren jumped right into online learning last year by setting up multiple cameras to bolster his livestreaming capability from the basement of his house … so he could continue to wow and inspire students, even when at a distance. And it’s a system he’s continued to develop as he now broadcasts select lessons from his school-based lab space.

For Darren, it’s the demonstrations and experiments that bring learning to life, “Whether it is through launching Chemistry rockets to explore combustion reactions or making dry ice bubbles to unpack the ideas behind the kinetic molecular theory, to me, effective Science instruction always involves far more than reviewing abstract concepts in a textbook. My mission with every science lesson is to create hands on opportunities for students to personally interact with the science that governs their world, in creative ways that are individualized to how they learn best.”

As you can tell, Darren is working hard to make science authentic and accessible to students, and he’s certainly a wonderful first recipient of this significant award. He inspires all of us around him with both his passion for teaching and learning, and through the warm and welcoming way he approaches the world and the people in it.

We’re lucky to have Darren working at NWSS, and we’re so glad to see his efforts to teach (and learn through some high-end play) recognized at a province-wide level too!

 

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