Distinguished Educator with 20 Years of Experience
Upon receiving his BS in elementary education with an emphasis in science education, Neil Topovski began his career as an educator in 1992, teaching elementary school general curriculum and science for Wooster City Schools, in Wooster, Ohio. In 2004, Neil Topovski then took on a new role with Wooster City Schools, serving as district consulting teacher for gifted children until 2008. Thenceforth, he taught middle school science for Wooster through the 2011-2012 school year.
Over the course of his 20-year career as an educator, Topovski has received numerous accolades. Prominent among his awards are the Wayne County Science Conservation Teacher of the Year (2005) and the State of Ohio Science Conservation Teacher of the Year (2006). Additionally, through his work with the JASON Project, Topovski has been a finalist for both that organization’s National Teacher (1997) and International Teacher (1998) distinctions.
Moreover, Neil Topovski’s pursuits as an educator outside of Wooster have granted him opportunities to gain experience teaching in diverse settings. As a United States Teacher Ambassador through the People to People Student Ambassador Program, he has visited over 18 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and many western European countries.
The Importance of After-School Science Clubs
An award-winning public school science teacher, Neil Topovski most recently taught in the Wooster City Schools in Wooster, Ohio. In addition to his work in the classroom, Neil Topovski coordinated and implemented after-school science clubs at both the middle and elementary school levels.
Time and again, educators involved in after-school science clubs have seen the power of these activities to engage and motivate students. Many students enter science clubs with a wariness of scientific study that may have come from overly theoretical approaches to the subject or from a focus on reading and memorization rather than on inquiry. Science clubs address this disconnect by offering hands-on activities that let students explore topics relevant to their lives, such as sustainability and technology.
Science clubs offer teachers the unique chance to tailor instruction to student interests, as extracurricular pursuits need not conform to state standards. The teacher can reach students by guiding inquiry into requested topics and helping them to conduct their own original research. The after-school model also allows teachers to guide students toward fun, relaxed, and accessible experiments that let students enjoy the firsthand experience of science. Many students in these programs report a renewed interest in science that inspires their classroom study, as well.