David Harding receives 2015 Director’s Award

David Harding receives the Director's Award for his exceptional contributions to K-12 education programs. Photo: Reidar Hahn

David Harding receives the Director’s Award for his exceptional contributions to K-12 education programs. Photo: Reidar Hahn

At the annual volunteers reception on Nov. 18, Fermilab Chief Operating Officer Tim Meyer presented David Harding, Technical Division deputy head, with the 2015 Director’s Award. Meyer was acting in place of Director Nigel Lockyer, who traditionally presents the award.

Every year, the Director’s Award is given to a volunteer who makes significant contributions to Fermilab’s K-12 education programs. Fermilab Friends for Science Education supports the award with funds from an anonymous donor.

“Dave has been nominated for his longstanding contributions to many programs, including Saturday Morning Physics, tour programs and classroom presentations,” Meyer said. “This is someone who’s devoted not just a few years of effort, but has really been a constant resource. Someone who fills in the gaps and encourages others to participate.”

Harding has contributed to Fermilab’s Classroom Physics Presentations program since its inception, visiting local classrooms with science demonstrations to inspire students. He developed the Physics of Sports module and trains other scientists as presenters for the program. He also educates outside of the classroom, guiding Saturday Morning Physics tours and other student groups that visit Fermilab on field trips. He has been active in the American Institute for Physics Adopt-A-Physicist program since it began.

“I am honored to be recognized as being in the same league as previous recipients of this award,” Harding said. “I have loved communicating the excitement of physics since my graduate school days and am grateful for the opportunity to do that here at Fermilab. The Education Office deserves special mention for providing the framework for so many interactions.”

At the reception, Meyer also acknowledged the work of six other volunteers who contribute to K-12 education programs at the lab: Maurice Ball, AD; Jamie Blowers, TD; Stefan Gruenendahl, PPD; Brendan Kiburg, PPD; Marc Weinberg, Florida State University; Jin-Yuan Wu, PPD.

“It’s really a privilege for me to recognize this community,” Meyer said. “That’s really what this is about, acknowledging the volunteer effort that shares Fermilab with so many, something that many of us do off the sides of our desks amidst many other responsibilities.”