Can a biodegradable bullet be invented that can be used in hunting to avoid animals having to hobble around with pellets in their body after being hit by a non-lethal shot? This is one question Mårten Flø Jørgensen and his students at Bagsværd Kostskole & Gymnasium tried to answer.
At Paderup Gymnasium, Thomas Skadhede asked his first-year students in the natural sciences basic course to solve a murder mystery and then to convert their solutions into a short film. The idea was so popular that other schools have also used it.
Both Mårten Flø Jørgensen and Thomas Skadhede use realistic and innovative methods in their teaching to increase their students’ interest in the biological sciences.
Mårten Flø Jørgensen is known for his high scientific level and an extraordinarily close connection with local research environments such as the Technical University of Denmark. The subjects he teaches include epigenetics and cancer. Thomas Skadhede is the editor and main author of an innovative textbook project called Yubio that compiles courses at all upper-secondary levels in biology and biotechnology and publishes the books digitally. Some of the material is in the form of podcasts, so the students can listen to their lessons on their way to and from school.
The Foundation is awarding Mårten Flø Jørgensen and Thomas Skadhede the 2017 Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Upper-secondary Schoolteachers for their excellent contributions to teaching. The Prize recognizes teachers that have significantly contributed to teaching the biological sciences, with the aim of focusing on heightening the scientific standards of teaching in upper-secondary schools in Denmark.
Mårten Flø Jørgensen says: “I am very surprised, pleased and proud to receive the Prize. This really recognizes the enormous work by the teaching team to get the 5-year biotechnology talent classes up and running at Bagsværd Kostskole & Gymnasium. I also want to express heartfelt thanks to all my students for sticking around through the rough patches that occur when testing new courses and experiments in practice. They make my job the best in the world.”
Thomas Skadhede says: “I am really proud to receive the Prize and the recognition of my work at Paderup Gymnasium and in connection with the Yubio project. For students, learning something new can require blood, sweat and tears – but everything becomes much easier if you also have some fun along the way. I strongly emphasize students having a good experience while they learn.”
The Foundation awards two Prizes annually. Each Prize is accompanied by DKK 250,000, divided into a personal award of DKK 50,000 and DKK 200,000 for the school. The students, parents, colleagues and principals at the teacher’s school may nominate one or more teachers for the Prize.
Jimmy Burnett Nielsen, Principal of Bagsværd Kostskole & Gymnasium, says: “Mårten is simply brilliant at motivating students to work persistently and creatively in solving problems that are relevant both for the individual students and for the world in which we live. Mårten makes his students feel that they can make a difference and can achieve something worthwhile for other people. Mårten also has an infectious enthusiasm and sense of humour.”
Allan Friis Clausen, Principal of Paderup Gymnasium, says: “Thomas Skadhede thoroughly deserves to receive the Prize for Upper-secondary Schoolteachers. He is a fireball that burns for biology and biotechnology. And he manages to stimulate his students’ interest for this subject with his great commitment and creative communication abilities. For Paderup Gymnasium, the Prize means that we will now receive funds to make the teaching of biology and biotechnology even better.”
Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for upper-secondary schoolteachers
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Upper-secondary Schoolteachers is aimed at teachers of biology, chemistry and biotechnology. The Prize focuses on enhancing the professional standards in teaching the biological sciences in upper-secondary schools in Denmark and on recognizing the teachers who have contributed significantly to this teaching.
The prizes are awarded in collaboration between the Novo Nordisk Foundation and DANSK BIOTEK (an association representing the biotechnology industry in Denmark).
The Prize is awarded annually and is divided into two prizes: one for an upper-secondary schoolteacher from eastern Denmark and one for an upper-secondary schoolteacher from western Denmark. Each prize is accompanied by DKK 250,000, divided into a personal award of DKK 50,000 and DKK 200,000 for the school. The award given to the school is to be used for developing the teaching of the biological sciences such as acquiring new teaching materials or upgrading classrooms or equipment for teaching.
The students, parents, colleagues and principals may all nominate one or several candidates for the Prize. A special Prize committee established by DANSK BIOTEK selects the Prize recipients from the nominations received.
Mårten Flø Jørgensen, Bagsværd Kostskole & Gymnasium, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 2982 4588
Thomas Skadhede, Paderup Gymnasium, email@example.com, +45 3025 2300
Christian Mostrup Scheel, Press Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 3067 4805