Derrick C. Wood, 2010 Life Sciences Award

Written by on August 15, 2010 in 2010, Educator, Life Sciences Award

Derrick Wood

Derrick C. Wood

Chemistry Teacher
Conestoga High School
Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Teaching at Conestoga High School since 2004, Derrick instills the same passion for Chemistry that he experiences – by showing his students that Chemistry is not an exercise in futility, but is extremely relevant to their lives.

He authored Case-Studies for his High School Chemistry curriculum and uses them as an alternative and authentic way of integrating the lab component into Chemistry, giving his students the opportunity to experience science in the same way it is done outside the classroom.

Derrick has further stimulated interest through his innovative teaching methods and Independent Study projects. Derrick’s personal interests relate to Analytical Chemistry, and he has shared his knowledge and experience with numerous Independent Study students. By utilizing donated supplies and equipment, his Independent Study students took a motley assortment of parts from old, nonfunctional systems and built working Gas Chromatographs and High Performance Liquid Chromatographs. Once operational, a variety of authentic research experiments were completed using the newly revived pieces of instrumentation. These projects have given a wide variety of students the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience with instrumentation and techniques not typically observed or conducted until taking advanced courses in a college science major.

Derrick has given presentations at NSTA and ACS National Conventions where he shared his curriculum with teachers across the country. In Derrick’s opinion though, his greatest accomplishments are the students that have graduated from Conestoga with a passion for science and have pursued college majors and careers as a result of the same love for science that I embrace.

Mr. Wood received his BA in Chemistry at Drew University and a Masters in Chemistry Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Derrick is the Head Coach of Conestoga’s Science Olympiad Team, and has consistently led his students to medal in the top 5 teams at the annual State Competition.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving on the 2010 Life Sciences Awards Evaluation Committee:

  • Russell A. Bantham, Esquire
    McLean, VA
  • Alan Bronstein
    Chemistry Teacher
    Central High School
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Dr. Venigalla Rao
    Department of Biology
    The Catholic University of America
    Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Phillip A. Singerman
    Senior Vice President
    B&D Consulting
    Washington, D.C.


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