Dr. Don Williams, professor of chemistry at Hope College, recently returned from Chicago, Ill., where he helped lead a workshop on behalf of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) to help build interest in science.
The April 7-8 workshop was significantly different
from others in which he has been involved, Williams said,
because it was for the organizers of future science-teacher
workshops instead of for high school teachers themselves.
"Thus the effect of our efforts in science education will be
greatly multiplied," he said.
According to Williams, fears are growing that
insufficient numbers of well-educated scientists and
engineers are going to be available to keep America's
technical infrastructure running well.
"Workshops such as this are very important,"
Williams said, "because this is where participants are shown
that careers in science are very important and rewarding."
The ANS, using a grant from the U.S. Department of
Energy, brought together university professors, high school
science teachers, nuclear engineers, graduate students and
public education specialists to prepare them to present
workshops on their own. While the emphasis was on nuclear
science, the workshop dealt with other physical sciences as
This past year, Williams has been a speaker in
several traditional workshops, but this is his first
experience as a teacher of workshop leaders. He was the
recipient of a Public Communicator of the Year Award from
the ANS in 1998.
Besides teaching chemistry at Hope, he teaches
courses on "Meeting the Environmental Costs of Electrical
Production" and the "History of the Atomic Bomb." He has
been a member of the Hope faculty since 1969.