BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Public Schools science teacher Eva Abeyta has been named as one of two 2020 Outstanding New Mexico Science Teachers by the New Mexico Academy of Science.
Abeyta is in her 25th year of teaching science and has taught for 15 years for LAPS. She served as the Los Alamos Middle School Science Department Chair and taught physical science, life science, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology there. She is well-known for her role as the District Science Fair Director. She currently teaches 6th-8th grade science classes through the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy.
Abeyta and her husband, Joe, are the parents of five graduates of Los Alamos High School: Joe, Esteban, Adrian, Elena and Anna.
New Mexico Science Academy officials said Abeyta’s nominations came from two colleagues. Their nominations stated that she is willing to try new curricula and adapt what she teaches to what her students need.
“She readily takes on a new challenge and embraces it, and has shown a great deal of ingenuity in teaching science effectively online. She ably heads up the district science fair, and in her previous school, as department chair, she helped other teachers make the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards,” her nomination said. “In short, although she is an extremely experienced science teacher, she has never stopped learning herself and is not afraid of using new techniques to address new challenges.”
The Outstanding New Mexico Science Teacher awards honor New Mexico science and math educators, and have been given since 1968. The Academy recognizes teachers who provide opportunities for students to succeed. Nominations are open to all science and math teachers in New Mexico. Each year the Academy honors two outstanding classroom or informal science teachers nominated from throughout New Mexico. The teachers are honored with awards at the NMAS Annual Meeting and also receive an award from our collaborative partner, the American Chemical Society. Abeyta and La Cueva High School, Albuquerque’s Lena Eddings took this year’s awards.
The New Mexico Academy of Science was initially founded in 1902, before New Mexico was even a state, and after one short hiatus it has been in continuous existence since 1915. It is one of the oldest state academies of science.
The goals of the Academy are: to promote science and science education within the state of New Mexico; to improve communication among scientists, science educators, public officials, and the general public; to recognize scientists, science educators, and science students; to encourage scientific research; and to increase public awareness of the role of science in human progress and human welfare.
The New Mexico Academy of Science serves as a public voice in support of science in New Mexico, and has supported the New Mexico state science standards and science education and science literacy of students and the general public. The Academy sponsors and administers several programs to accomplish its goals. At the 2020 symposium, awards were presented for the 2020 Outstanding New Mexico Science Teachers: