The Presidential Award celebrates the impact teachers can have in sharing their passion for their students’ success. Success is not a goal, it is a journey. The first step is empowering students to know what they don't know, identify essential knowledge, and acquire the ability to attain it. The second is enabling them with the critical thinking skills to apply it to analyze, evaluate, and problem solve, and ultimately discover, create, and innovate. Every student has the ability to succeed.

Michael McKelvy Chandler, AZ | 7-12, Science, 2015

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Michael McKelvy enjoyed scientific discovery throughout his 31 year career at Arizona State University (ASU) where he directed the Goldwater Materials Science Laboratories. He received numerous grants and published and presented a variety of research in materials chemistry, environmental science, and science education. He co-founded and directed ASU’s Science is Fun program, which brought the excitement of scientific discovery to over 100,000 K–12 students by his retirement from ASU in 2007. In 2007, he brought his passion for the excitement of science to Basha High School. He teaches AP Chemistry, Honors Science Research, and Science is Fun, where high school STEM role models have presented fun and exciting science presentations to over 10,000 younger students to excite them about science. Fun, real life, hands-on, and minds-on student activities are central to his teaching and to his developing and presenting professional development at events, including Chandler Science Investigator Workshops. His awards include the ASU Outstanding Community Impact Award, Arizona Science & Engineering Fair Senior Division Teacher Award, and selection as the 2013 Arizona Teacher of the Year at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation. Michael earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.S., and a Ph.D. in chemistry from ASU. He is certified in 7–12 chemistry.

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