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Novo Nordisk Foundation Establishes Five Science Prizes for Teachers and Educators in Denmark

The Foundation is expanding from two to five teacher prizes and has established two completely new prizes. The previous Science Teacher Prize is being replaced by two new prizes at the primary and lower-secondary levels. The previous Upper-secondary Science Teacher Prize is being strengthened and expanded to cover more subjects.

New prizes aim to recognize teachers and early-childhood educators in Denmark who stimulate interest and motivation for science among children and young people. Prizes are awarded for both eastern and western Denmark.

Teaching about the chemistry of wine gummy bears; making a planetarium using organic materials such as clay, stone and straw; and creating biodegradable bullets to avoid animals having to hobble around with pellets in their body after being hit by a non-lethal shot. These are some of the creative teaching initiatives that previous winners of the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s science teacher prizes have taken to encourage their students to become interested in the natural sciences.

Now the Foundation is establishing several new prizes with the aim of recognizing the work of teachers and early-childhood educators in promoting learning, interest and motivation for the natural sciences among children and young people: from children’s very first experiences of nature and technology in childcare centres to the theoretical and experimental challenges adolescents and young adults face at upper-secondary schools and teacher colleges.

The Foundation has earmarked DKK 2 million annually for the prizes.

The prizes are being awarded to committed and talented people who deliver inspirational science teaching or early-childhood learning experiences at a high professional level.

The five prizes are:

  • the Novo Nordisk Foundation Nature-based Educator Prize for early-childhood educators focusing on nature and natural phenomena in childcare centres;
  • the Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Primary Science Teachers for teachers of science and technology in grades 1–6;
  • the Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Lower-secondary Science Teachers for teachers of physics and chemistry, biology, geography and mathematics in grades 7–9;
  • the Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Upper-secondary Science Teachers for teachers of biology, chemistry, physics, physical geography, geoscience, astronomy and mathematics; and
  • the Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Science Teachers at Teacher Colleges for teachers of science and technology, physics and chemistry, biology, geography and mathematics.

Dagnia Looms, Head of Strategic Awards, Novo Nordisk Foundation says, “In awarding the prizes, the Foundation wants to focus on the high level of science teaching in Denmark’s education system and to honour the teachers and early-childhood educators who make extraordinary efforts. The Foundation’s teacher prizes cover all subjects within the natural sciences and reinforce the coherence across the entire educational chain. In the long term, we hope that more young people will become interested in science, technology and research and will choose a career in science.”

The Foundation’s Committee on Teacher Prizes assesses the candidates nominated for the prizes.

Read more about the prizes here.


Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]