Science Teaching Award from Randolph (STAR): 2024

Dates and Deadlines

Submission deadline: March 7, 2024

Finalists are notified: March 15, 2024

Award ceremony: March 21, 2024


Download the flier (PDF)

Submission Link

Submission Form


Please join us on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 pm in Smith Hall Theatre to find out who 2024’s SciFest STAR will be! Finalists are Erin Rettke, E.C. Glass High School and Helen Wilborn, Rustburg High School

The Science Teaching Award from Randolph (STAR) honors a high school science teacher who has contributed significantly to the lives of their students and who exhibits excellence in the teaching of science. SciFest will recognize up to three finalists including one awardee each year. The award consists of a $1,500 stipend to the award recipient and an additional $1,000 unrestricted grant for the award winner’s department.  The runner-up finalist will receive a beautiful leather tote bag, generously donated by Moore & Giles.  The STAR Award will be presented at the SciFest keynote presentation.  The 2024 STAR Science Teacher presentation was sponsored by a grant from the Al Stroobants Foundation.


The prize will be given to a full-time or part-time teacher currently at a public or private high school in the Region 2000, including only the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, Nelson, and the City of Lynchburg. The recipient will have been recognized as contributing substantially to the teaching of science at their high school, and providing inspirational guidance and encouragement of students in their classes and programs. High school teachers in one of the science fields listed below are eligible. If a science field is not listed, please contact us to have it approved. Nominations are active for two years, although they may be updated in the second year if you choose.

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Geoscience
  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
  • Physics


Nominations from anyone (administrators, colleagues, parents, students) are encouraged. Self-nominations are also strongly encouraged! The nomination package should include at least two letters and a resume, according to the following:

  • A letter of no more than 1,000 words evaluating the qualifications of the nominee. Qualifications might address:
    • Impacts on students, department, school
    • Numbers of students served
    • Resources available, how those resources have been used, what resources have been sought outside of what is readily available
    • Engagement of students
    • Improvement in interest and/or enrollments in science
    • Engagement of traditionally underrepresented groups in science
    • Preparation of students for college or career
    • Involvement in science research
    • Professional development
    • Implementation of research-based teaching methods
    • Outreach
      Please note that it is not expected that any given nominee will have qualifications in each of these areas, but it is expected that the nominee has distinction in one of more of these areas.
  • A résumé or CV from the nominee
  • At least two, but no more than four letters of recommendation:
    • The letter of qualifications counts as a recommendation letter as well if is not submitted by the nominee
    • The other one to three letters should be from school administrators, colleagues, and/or students; ideally from at least two of the three
      Please note that it is best to submit recommendations with the complete nomination package, or request recommenders to email directly to, but only recommendations received by the nomination deadline will be considered.
  • Up to five additional supporting documents are welcome, including, but not limited to, publications, articles about the nominee or the nominee’s programs, or resources the nominee has produced.

Submission Process

Submissions are open for the 2024 competition. Submit the complete nomination package by midnight on Thursday, March 7, 2024 by completing this form. You will get a confirmation email once we process the application (within two days). Please contact us at with any questions or problems with submission.

Selection Committee

The selection committee will consist of a subcommittee of the Randolph College Science Festival Oversight Committee, directed by Peter Sheldon. The subcommittee will make recommendations to the whole committee.

Award Ceremony

Finalists will be notified by Friday, March 15, 2024, and we hope they will be present at the award ceremony.

All nominees, guests, and the public are encouraged to be present for the Science Teaching Award presentation during the keynote speaker’s presentation at the Randolph College Science Festival, held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2024. All nominees present will be recognized.

  • Please join us on March 21 at 7:30 pm in Smith Hall Theatre to find out who 2024’s SciFest STAR will be!
  • Congratulations to Jessica McIntosh for being chosen as the 2023 SciFest STAR!
  • Congratulations to Catherine Drumheller for being chosen at the 2022 SciFest STAR!
  • Congratulations to Erin Rierson for being chosen as the 2021 SciFest STAR!
  • Congratulations to Angela Beasley for being chosen as the 2020 SciFest STAR!