Ryan Ward

2020 Award Winner
Future Science Teachers Award: Ryan Ward


What inspired you to pursue science education as a career?
My interest in science education started when I was in 8th grade. I had an incredibly energetic teacher who made scientific inquiry fun and exciting. He really taught us that we can learn so much about how we interact with the world by viewing it through a scientific lens.

Why are you passionate about science education?

Project Based Learning in a science class that helps kids get rooted in authentic problems that connect their school lives with things happening in the greater world. Through science education, we can teach students to love learning and to critically examine how they interact with the world. We can help students to learn skills that will serve them in any career they choose, and we can empower them by training them for high paying careers that will impact the future of our society.

What do you hope to accomplish within 5 years?
I just started my first year teaching in SFUSD, I teach 7th and 8th grade science and love the middle school students (even though teaching over zoom is not how I envisioned the start of my career!). I currently am credentialed in physics and geosciences and will have a supplementary authorization in computer science at the end of 2021. Within five years I plan to obtain a Masters in Science Education and would love to take on a leadership role in my district as a science TOSA.

Tell us about your experience working at Young Scientist Camp with middle school students. How do you think it prepared you for the future?
I had an amazing experience working at the CSULB Young Scientists Camp. It was so much fun getting to know and work with middle school students and to see how I could help guide them to shape their own learning. The experience made me much better equipped to start leading my own middle school classes. It was also great that the camp allowed me to get to know the kids on a personal level. The relationships I built at camp helped me better understand the mind of a middle schooler! Being able to work with the fantastic mentor teachers that the camp employed also helped me to sharpen my lesson planning skills.

What does this award mean to you?
I am humbled that CASE has honored me with this award. It is encouraging to know that I am on the path to success, and to enhancing my students' futures through science education!

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