Teacher Ambassador Rebecca Brewer Receives NABT Evolution Education Award for 2023

2023 Evolution Education Award winner Rebecca Brewer.

From left: Lin Andrews, NCSE Director of Teacher Support; Rebecca Brewer, 2023 National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award winner; Cindy Gay, Senior Science Educator, BSCS Science Learning.

Since 2021, NCSE has co-sponsored (with BSCS Science Learning) the yearly National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award, which is presented yearly at the NABT conference. This NABT award recognizes innovative classroom teaching or community education efforts to promote an accurate understanding of biological evolution. 2023 was particularly exciting for NCSE, because one of our own Teacher Ambassadors, Rebecca Brewer, received the award. A committee of her peers and NABT volunteers selected her for this award.

Brewer has worked with NCSE since 2019 and has contributed to the Supporting Teachers program in a variety of ways. She served as an advocate for NCSE at several different venues and workshops (focused on both our climate change and evolution lesson sets), took on a leadership role as a mentor during our two-year curriculum field study, and even helped develop one of our evolution storylines, The Origin of a Species. Her work with NCSE, as well as with several other important evolution organizations such as the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, and the Society for the Study of Evolution, helps to provide teachers with access to reliable, evidence-based resources on evolution to use in their classrooms. Her desire to ensure all teachers have the materials to teach evolution accurately and effectively has always been a mainstay of her work and played a significant role in her receiving the NABT Evolution Education Award.

In addition to her curricular and evolution work, Brewer has somehow found the time to contribute her expertise in many other ways. Just to name a few of her major accomplishments:

  • She coauthored the fantastic Biology Now textbook and instruction manual (both the 2nd and 3rd editions)
  • She was awarded the 2021 Science Teacher of the Year by the Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit
  • She received a $27,000 lab grant in 2011 from ING (now Voya) for being an Unsung Hero
  • She was the 2008 NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher for Michigan and now serves as the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award coordinator for her state

This list only scratches the surface of her accomplishments over her 24-year career, serving both her fellow teachers and all the students she has positively affected during her time teaching AP Biology and general 9th-grade biology at Troy High School in Troy, Michigan.

“Understanding the scientific mechanisms and evidence for evolution is foundational for all of biology,” Brewer said in response to winning the award. “Evolution helps to explain the emergence of infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, how humans are related to other primates, and countless other examples. As the 2023 recipient of the NABT Evolution Education Award, I advocate for addressing evolution misconceptions and encourage others to use high-quality resources that require students to examine the evidence for evolution.”

We are delighted that Brewer received the award and proud to count her among the NCSE Supporting Teachers team. Our Teacher Ambassador program would not be the same without Rebecca Brewer, and we appreciate all she has done and will continue to do for teachers and students in the future. Congratulations!

NCSE Director of Teacher Support Lin Andrews
Short Bio

Lin Andrews is NCSE Director of Eduation.