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News Release September 4, 2001
GSA Release No. 01-39
Contact: Christa Stratton

Denver Teacher Impacts K–12 Geoscience Education Through Geological Society of America

BOULDER, Colo. - Glenda Robinson is on a mission. After inspiring kids to get fired up about science and pursue engineering careers, she wants to do the same thing with geology. That's why she's been chosen to be the Subaru Distinguished Earth Science Educator at the Geological Society of America for the 2001-2002 school year. Glenda Robinson

"I scream for teachers and kids," she said. "When I feel like we're being overlooked, I get mad. As an African-American teacher, teaching in a predominantly African-American school, I know how underrepresented we are in the math, science, and engineering work force. A number of my students got turned on to engineering, and now I'd like to get the same thing going for geology — and then we'll get more people into geology." One of her goals is to begin developing geology lessons on video that GSA could one day donate to teachers.

The Subaru Distinguished Earth Science Educator is a master teacher selected by the Geological Society of America (GSA) to act as an educator in residence. During this second year of the program, Robinson will work with Science, Education, and Outreach staff, GSA's Education Committee, and other members to serve the K-12 geoscience education community. In her work at the Geological Society of America, she will provide insight and practical wisdom gleaned from real classroom experience to assist educators and other professionals. For more information on the Subaru Program, see

Robinson is a native of Colorado and has lived in Denver all her life. She has been teaching eighth grade science at Smiley Middle School in Denver for eight years. She also taught seventh and eighth grade science at Lake Middle School for six years. Robinson earned a B.A. in Science Education and an M.A. in Middle Education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. But when she graduated, teaching jobs were not available, so she worked as a geophysical assistant for Amoco from 1973 to 1986.

"I have always felt that my corporate experience helped me to be a successful teacher and enrich those I teach," she said. This experience also helped Robinson to steer students into higher education and enter the professional world.

Eighth grade is a key transition for students in Robinson's school. By this time, a number of them have already decided to quit school. Robinson wants to catch them at that point, get them excited about science, and motivate them to stay in school. She likes this age group because she first got interested in science when she was an eighth grader at Cole Junior High.

"My science teacher in middle school bugged me," Robinson said. "I thought I could do a better job teaching than him. But later, when I was a student teacher working with him, I realized he had motivated me without me knowing it. He did the right thing.

"He made me mad all the time, and obviously he made me think. He always told me to look things up. When I have kids who argue with me and question me, I love it! Because they're thinking, and that's when you know they're thinking.

"This opportunity [as the Subaru Distinguished Earth Science Educator] will take my knowledge and skills to a new level. As with other science topics, I will be able to develop creative lesson plans, and share information with my co-workers."

The Geological Society of America (GSA), founded in 1888, is a scientific society with nearly 16,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 85 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members, and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education. For more information, please visit:

— Kara LeBeau, GSA Staff Writer

Contact Information:
Glenda Robinson
Distinguished Subaru Earth Science Teacher
Geological Society of America
Phone: (303) 357-1082

To obtain a photo of Glenda Robinson contact:


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