Labster’s STEM Excellence Awards Winners Revealed


Charles Best, DonorsChoose Founder, selected for Hero Award

  • 10 teachers hand-picked as part of Labster’s Teacher STEM Excellence Awards supporting the changemakers across the globe
  • The Labster awards recognizes global changemakers in the education sector 
  • Winners have developed student-centered learning programs and applied creativity and innovation to teaching during a difficult year

BOSTON, ZURICH and COPENHAGEN  – Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – Ten educators across the globe that have blazed a trail of innovation and creativity in schooling the next generation have been recognized for their transformative course stewardship work by Labster, the world’s leading platform for virtual labs and science simulations.

The educators selected include seven higher education professors and three high school science teachers.

Labster founder Michael Bodekaer Jensen said: “The STEM Excellence Awards honor the changemakers in education who are embracing edtech innovation to make a measurable impact within their community.  Their achievements create greater awareness of the remarkable work happening in the sector.” 

“We also selected Charles Best, CEO and Founder of DonorsChoose as our Hero Award recipient for his lifetime achievement on his groundbreaking education platform DonorsChoose. It has empowered thousands of public school teachers to request much-needed materials for their students. DonorsChoose is open to all public and public charter schools in the United States, as well as GED programs run by public school systems,” explained Hope Frank, Chief Marketing Officer, Labster. “We are recognizing and supporting DonorsChoose teachers with a Labster Holiday Match program, December 14, 2021 – February 14, 2022.” 

DonorsChoose founder and CEO Charles Best said: “I’m honored by this selection, yet it’s the educators who persevere through changes in online, face-to-face, and hybrid teaching modalities  who continue to inspire me.” 

The winners of Labster’s Teacher Excellence Awards are:

  • Lori Banks, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, Bates College, Lewiston, ME
  • Dave Cassie, EdD, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of the Southern Caribbean, Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Allen Dale, Science Teacher, Kuna High School, Boise, ID
  • Gini Lea Ennis, High School Science Teacher, Savannah-Chatham E-Learning Academy, Savannah, GA
  • Melody Esfandiari, PhD, Chemistry Lecturer, San José State University, San José, CA
  • Seth Racey, PhD, University of Northumbria, Senior Lecturer in Applied Sciences, Newcastle, England
  • Lucia Santacruz Kozarinas, PhD, Associate Professor, Natural Sciences, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
  • Diane Sigalas, M.Ed., High Science Teacher, Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ
  • Manuela Tripepi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology and Microbiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Donald Wlodkowic, PhD, Associate Professor in Cell Biology and Toxicology, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

About Labster

Labster is the world’s leading platform for virtual labs and science simulations. Students’ learning outcomes improve with Labster because we engage them with game-based elements that inspire them to explore science. Students then apply their knowledge to solve a real world problem within the context of a story. Inside the 3D environment of an immersive simulation, students master curriculum-aligned theory, interact with advanced equipment, learn techniques and perform experiments. 

Labster makes an educator’s job easier, integrating with the most popular LMS (learning management system) platforms and freeing up their time by automatically grading quiz questions and providing them with a dashboard of student performance data. 


The virtual science labs have been used by California State University, Harvard, Gwinnett Technical College, MIT, Exeter University, University of New Haven, Stanford, University of New England, Trinity College, University of Hong Kong and Berkeley, among others internationally. www.labster.com

eSchool News Staff

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