Science Education Awards

2021-2022 Science Education Awards Scholarship Opportunity

Through a partnership with the Bexar County Scholarship Clearing House and the generosity of the V. H. McNutt Memorial Foundation, students now have the opportunity to apply for the Texas Biomedical Forum’s new Science Education Award Scholarships for the first time.  The scholarships will be one-time, merit-based awards each ranging from $500 to $20,000.  Awards for each year may total up to $20,000.  A successful applicant must be a senior graduating from a Bexar County or contiguous county High School, must have a GPA of 3.5 or better and must intend to pursue a college curriculum directed towards a degree in Science.  Applications can be submitted in conjunction with the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation ( and will be due in November of 2021. For more information please contact

Science Education Awards 2021-1994

For the past 27 years, the Texas Biomedical Forum and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation have joined forces for the Science Education Awards. Local public and private high school teachers are invited to participate. The awards are given to the top teachers whose proposals demonstrate the strongest commitment to the scientific process and the further development of hands on, progressive science education programs.
Winners are determined by a panel of judges including Science Education Awards founder, Valerie Guenther, representing the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation, and Forum Board Trustees that serve as the Chairs of the Science Education Awards. The panel is rounded out by Texas Biomed scientists.

2021 Science Education Award Winner

Kenny Hoang, a Chemistry teacher at Saint Mary’s Hall, was awarded $2,000 for the submission of his project, Environmental Chemistry and the Sustainability of Aquaponic

Systems as a Viable Alternative/Solution to World Hunger and Earth Sustainability. Aquaponics serves as a viable alternative to grow both animals and plants for food in a sustainable way, while also decreasing humans’ carbon footprint in an effort to prevent the depletion of Earth’s natural resources. The method uses less space and resources, produces crops faster and at higher yields, and eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and additives by utilizing the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants.

“The Science Education Award Program offered by the Texas Biomedical Forum has given me the opportunity to give my students the chance to see science in action to come up with solutions to problems the world is facing today,” said Hoang. “We are very grateful for everything Texas BioMed has done for the San Antonio community through their outreach programs. Every time we get to work with Texas BioMed, the students and faculty are always excited to hear about science and what amazing things are happening here in San Antonio. They are impressed by the amount of work being done in their own city and how science is being used outside the walls of the classroom. Texas BioMed has made learning science in our community real, exciting, applicable, and fun!”

The project will take place during the 2021-2022 academic year in SMH Chemistry I classes. This cross-curricular initiative involves research where students study how aquaponics works and observe its benefits and effects firsthand. Students will compare aquaponics to traditional methods of planting and farming, and will research and choose their own fish, herbs, and vegetables to use in the project. The students will also house and grow zebra fish for the labs that AP Biology conducts and cover topics in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and more.

“As humans continue to search for alternatives to feed people, while also sustaining Earth’s natural resources for future generations, I hope this project/experiment will give my students the opportunity to see applicable, cross-curricular science in action to solve world problems while also opening their minds to the opportunities to better the place they live in, Earth,” said Mr. Hoang. “My hope is that this will prompt conversations in the near future and that it empowers students to be a part of this important dialogue as intelligent, knowledgeable citizens of this country and as champions and defenders of the Earth.”

Congratulations to all our area science teachers who are inspiring the scientists of tomorrow!

2020 Science Education Award Winners

1st place
Jamie Holbrook
Saint Mary’s Hall
“In Vitro Rearing an Risk Assessment of Honey Bees Following Exposure to Agricultural Pesticides”

2nd place
Jennifer Rice
John Marshall High School
“Every Contact Leaves a Trace: Microscopic Analysis of Trace Evidence in Forensic Science”

3rd place
Susan Barber
New Braunfels High School
“Using Real Time Technology to Evaluate Physics Principles”

2019 Science Education Award Winners

Congratulations to these science teachers who are inspiring the scientists of tomorrow!

1st Place Winner
Dr. Jamie Holbrook
St. Mary’s Hall
“The Effects of Environmental Contaminants on the Development and Functioning of Skeletal Muscles in Zebrafish”

2nd Place Winner
Shawna Lopez
Cornerstone Christian Schools
“Genetic Variation in Successive Generations of Poecilia Reticulatas”

3rd Place Winner
Ivan Banuelos
Earl Warren High School
“The Wonders of Space Exploration: Understanding Technology of Today’s Rovers”

2019 Science Education Awards
Left to right:
Mrs. Valerie Guenther, Mrs. Christina Ketabchi, Dr. Jamie Holbrook, Mrs. Shawna Lopez, Mr. Ivan Banuelos, and Mrs. Heather de Rojas

2018 Science Education Award Winners

Congratulations to these science teachers who are inspiring the scientists of tomorrow!

1st Place Winner
Justina Vidal
St. Mary’s Hall
“Ocean Chemistry and the Effects of Carbon Dioxide Emissions on Ocean Wildlife”

2nd Place Winner
Frank Morales
Thomas Jefferson High School
“CSI: DNA Fingerprint Analysis”

3rd Place Winner
Sarah Thompson
Earl Warren High School
“What Lies Beneath: Investigating Water Quality Using Benthic Invertebrates”

Honorable Mentions

Colin Lang
Alamo Heights High School
“Goddard High Altitude Blood Burst Test”

Katelin Whittaker
Advanced Learning Academy
“Who Needs Energy? An Interdisciplinary, Project-Based Learning Approach to Energy Conversion and Empathy”