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Civic Impact

Carnegie Science Award winners blast off on another mission to inspire


John Tucker is the Business Groups President of a $2.5 billion company, Kennametal, that's about to launch an innovative new tooling and coolant product called Beyond Blast on March 1. It took three years to develop, both at company HQ in Latrobe and in India and Europe. Yet he seemed most pumped up about winning a Carnegie Science Award for the product.

"For Kennametal, it was quite an accomplishment," Tucker said before the announcement of Kennametal's Advanced Manufacturing Award at the Center on Feb. 3. "Here in our hometown, to be recognized by the Carnegie Science Center, is an extra-special recognition."

Other awards went to educators and scientists at many levels, including John Pollock of Duquesne University (Special Recognition in Science Education Award), Thad Zaleskiewicz of the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg (University/Post-Secondary Educator Award) and Sara Majetich of Carnegie Mellon University (Emerging Female Scientist Award), as well as Richard Gebrosky of North Allegheny School District (Middle Level Educator Award).

The Catalyst for Science Education Award was given to ASSET Inc., a South Side nonprofit focused on science and math education programs. Last fall they received a $20.2 million U.S. Department of Education grant to establish Regional Professional Development Centers and associated sites throughout the state to help train 450 new teachers in special science curricula over the next five years. Says spokesperson Karen Ahearn: "We're really serving as a model for the nation."

As Carnegie Science Awards co-chair Ron Bailey noted: "Our larger mission is to inspire scientific curiosity in the next generation of leaders."

The awards ceremony is May 6 in the Carnegie Museum in Oakland, with keynote speaker Anousheh Ansari, the first civilian and first Iranian astronaut.

Writer: Marty Levine
Sources: John Tucker, Kennametal; Karen Ahearn, Asset Inc.; Carnegie Science Center
Image courtesy of Carnegie Science Center
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