Hamline University School of Education graduate Ken Fiscus was recently awarded the prestigious Space Educator Award from the National Science Club. The award is given to secondary teachers who encourage high school students to space science and guide them toward related careers.
Fiscus received the award on April 1 at the National Space Club banquet in Washington, DC, that included important members from the space and military communities.
“It was a big deal. I even had to rent a tuxedo,” Fiscus said.
Fiscus has been interested in space for a long time—dating back to childhood, when a friend of his got a telescope.
“Space and science were always childhood interests,” Fiscus said. “So it’s great to have job that pays me to do my hobbies.”
As a science teacher at Albert Lea Senior High, Fiscus has been honing his trade for the past 20 years. In addition to teaching, he is involved in the community producing a “walk through the solar system” for Freeborn County, which allows individuals to explore a several mile long model of our solar system.
Fiscus graduated from Hamline in 1999, where he studied instructional theory.
“I always knew I was made to be teacher, but what I learned at Hamline taught me why,” he said. “I have always tried to connect with what students already know, and Hamline helped to strengthen those skills.”
This national space educator award is not the first time Fiscus has been honored for his work; in 2004 he was the Minnesota Outstanding Earth Science Teacher.