Science Educator’s Workshop



The national AVS has conducted a two-day in-service workshop on low-pressure experiments and modeling for middle and high school science teachers from the United States and Canada since 1990. Attendees are sponsored by regional Chapters of the Society with all expenses paid by the sponsoring Chapter. The workshop is accredited for Continuing Education Units by the University of Dayton and is aligned with the national science and mathematics standards.




The AVS (American Vacuum Society) is offering a two day, free, STEM workshop with high school ready lessons that integrate science, math and engineering using hands-on vacuum technology based activities.  This year’s Science Educators’ Workshop will be October 21-22, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. Local AVS chapters typically pay travel and lodging costs to send a teacher from their region to this hands-on workshop.  Teachers receive continuing education credit and their school may be eligible to receive an equipment grant including a new vacuum pump and vacuum jar. The workshop includes an onsite visit to a major industrial or research laboratory.  High school science teachers are encouraged to apply for sponsorship to attend this workshop at To see more about the activity here are photos from the 2016 Workshop.

Vacuum science is useful for demonstrating concepts in physics, chemistry, astronomy and engineering.  For instance, you can demonstrate phase transitions under conditions that the students do not expect. Many examples are available at

If you would like to recommend a teacher apply for this award, download a flyer here.

An on-line application form is available through the AVS education web site.   Applications received on line will be forwarded to the Chapter that covers the geographical area of the applicant.

Apply Now!

Application Deadline is August 9, 2019

For more information about the Colorado State Science & Engineering Fair:

This year’s judges:

  • J Grant Armstrong – Carberry Technologies
  • Mary Ann Bjornsen – USDA / Center for Animal Health Information and Analysis
  • Jennifer Drayton – Colorado State University

If interested in helping out next year contact Grant Armstrong: [email protected]


Colorado Science & Engineering Fair  –   April 11, 2019

For many years, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of AVS has sponsored special awards at the Colorado State Science & Engineering Fair.  Our prizes are $100 for first place and $50 for second place, in both Senior and Junior Divisions, for projects mainly in physical sciences and engineering.  We award these prizes to each student and a matching amount to each winner’s teacher/sponsor.  We hope these awards encourage students to pursue their interests in science & engineering.  Year after year, the level of these students’ scientific understanding, their hard work, and above all, their curiosity and enthusiasm, are truly inspiring.

About this year’s Fair:

  • There were 329 projects submitted by 392 students (some projects were by teams of 2 or 3 students).
  • There were 168 seniors (grades 9-12) and 224 juniors (grades 6-8), from 115 Colorado schools
  • 183 projects were in physical sciences (our main focus); 146 in life sciences.
  • 198 teachers or other mentors sponsored/supported the students with their projects.
  • Our AVS chapter is one of about 70 organizations that offer over 300 individual special awards and scholarships worth more than $170,000

RMCAVS Symposium 2018

2018 Rocky Mountain AVS Symposium  Sept 11 -14

RMCAVS Symposium 2017

2017 Rocky Mountain AVS Symposium  Sept 19-22

RMCAVS Symposium 2016


14 Billion Year History of the Universe Leading to Materials Science

RMCAVS Symposium 2015

Symposium Poster Winners

Speciation and Reactivity of Organic Matter in Uranium Mine Wastes from Laguna- New Mexico: An Application of Surface Sciences in Environmental Systems, Carmen A. Velasco, Abdul-Mehdi Ali, Christopher Osburn, Kateryna Artyushkova, José M. Cerrato

Effect of bicarbonate and phosphate on arsenic release from mining-impacted sediments in Cheyenne River (watershed), South Dakota, Cherie L. DeVore, Lucia Rodriguez-Freire, Abdul Mehdi-Ali, Carlyle Ducheneaux, Kateryna Artyushkova, Zhe Zhou, Drew E. Latta, Virgil W. Lueth, Melissa Gonzales, Johnnye Lewis, and José M. Cerrato

Characterization of extended surface catalysts for optimization of performance in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Sarah Zaccarine, Chilan Ngo, Sarah Shulda, Svitlana Pylypenko, Colorado School of Mines Scott Mauger, Shaun Alia, K.C. Neyerlin, Bryan Pivovar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Colorado Association of Science Teachers (CAST) Teacher Awards

The American Vacuum Society also sponsors an award for Excellence in Science Teaching in the state of Colorado.  The award is presented each year at the Colorado Science Conference, in November, in the amount of $500.  You do not need to be a CAST member to receive the AVS award.  To be eligible, you must be currently teaching science in a Colorado school.

Deadline for submission is by September 30, 2019.

To nominate yourself or another individual, please click on the link below or submit the application as indicated on the file below.

AVS Excellence in Science Teaching Online Application

Download AVS Excellence in Science Teaching Application

Learn more about CAST 

CONGRATULATIONS to Sandy Lamb – awarded the 2018 American Vacuum Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award – Informal
CONGRATULATIONS to Nadene Klein – awarded the 2018 American Vacuum Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award – Secondary
CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Christianson – awarded the 2018 American Vacuum Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award – Elementary