Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association

Serving Southeast Michigan Science Teachers Since 1941

Mini Grants

Awards up to $500  --  Application Due Date  -- January 31

CLICK HERE to download an application form.

2018 Recipients -- Robertha Brown, Holly Hereau, and Cheryl Quinn

Robertha Brown -- Mary McLeod Bethune School Elementary-Middle School, Detroit -- "Challenge Your Appetite-Prepare to Lose"

Holly Hereau -- Lee M. Thurston High School, Redford -- "Invasive Species Removal and Pollinator/Rain Garden Installation"

Cheryl Quinn's -- Honey Creek Community School, Ann Arbor -- "Phenomenal Science Meets Honey Creek Community School"

2016 Recipient -- Pam Opolsky

Ms. Opolsky's Mini-Grant Topic was "Sound STEAM Project."  She used her $500 to purchase beakers, tuning forks and other equipment to help students learn about sound.  

2015 Recipients -- Monica Faerber, Erika Lee, and Puja Mullins

Ms. Monica Faerber requested funds to acquire Science Kits and was awarded $450.00

Ms. Erika Lee’s proposal was for a field trip to Imagination Station in Toledo and was presented with a check for $500.00.

Ms. Puja Mullins’ application included $500.00 to acquire a set of notebooks for STEM instruction.

Outstanding Science Educator Award

Do you know someone who is worthy of being honored as an outstanding science educator?

CLICK HERE to download an application form.

Application Deadline -- April 1

2017 Recipients -- Pamela Opolsky and Dr. Emily Thompson

Pamela Opolsky is the 2016 recipient of an MDSTA mini-award for her classroom project proposal titled "Sound STEAM Project."  She used her $500 to purchase beakers, tuning forks and other equipment to help students learn about sound.  Ms. Opolsky started teaching in 1997.  Her first challenge was at a yeshiva, in which she had to teach all subject in three hours a day.  Her career shifted when she began teaching in charter schools.  She taught 8th grade science, 4th grade social studies and science.  During this time she participated in the Rouge River Education Project, went on an EarthWatch expedition, in Kenya, and created an outdoor lab.  She is presently teaching K-8 science at Jefferson International Academy in Waterford, Michigan.  Her special projects today include butterfly gardens, family science and engineering and using singing and dance to teach science. “I have always worked with a limited or non-existing budget, and few or no textbooks.  So, I do a lot of grant writing for supplies, and a lot of research and design.  I strive to make science fun and memorable for my students …”  

Dr. Emily Thompson, teaches in the Life Sciences Department at Washtenaw Community College (WCC). Since 2009, she has accomplished the following: pioneered use of free Open Educational Resources at WCC; gave presentations to audiences at WCC, MDSTA Fall Conferences, Michigan Water Collaboration Conference, Michigan Community College Biologists Conference, LAND Conference, and the Huron High School Earth Day Celebration; wrote blogs on genetics and the environment (; and developed genetics, biology, and environmental science curriculum materials.  She has additionally helped run almost two dozen sustainability events for WCC and the community as member and then chair of the WCC Sustainability Literacy Task Force. She is the advisor for the WCC Students for Sustainability Club.  


Ellen Daniel-Jones Distinguished Service Award

Do you know someone who is a distinguished science educator in the Metropolitan Detroit Area and exemplifies the high standards of the late Ellen Daniel-Jones?  if so, please CLICK HERE to download an application form.

Application Deadline -- January 31

Marilyn V. Rands was awarded the 2017 Ellen Daniel-Joes Distinguished Service Award

Professor Marilyn V. Rands -- Emeritus Professor of Physics, Lawrence Technological University


Professor Rands has taught physics at Lawrence Technological University since 1976.  As a Professor Emeritus she still teaches one or two classes per semester.  She has been involved in many science opportunities for teachers through workshops, particularly Operation Physics, and continuing education opportunities.  In the past she was also involved with efforts of the Michigan Department of Education.  In addition to her face to face classroom work she has also developed and taught several completely online courses. Her favorite student evaluation: Professor Rands helps us find the answer instead of telling us the answer.”

Honors, Award, And Memberships

Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Educator, 2000 -- Board Member of Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Associations, 2000 - 2016, member since 1980.

Courses Taught at Lawrence Technological University -- College Physics 1 and 2; College Physics 1 and 2 Laboratories; University Physics 1 and 2; University Physics 1 and 2 Laboratories: Geology; Geosphere; Nuclear Physics; Forces, Motion and Energy; Waves, Electricity, and Magnetism; Contemporary Physics Laboratory

Rachel Badanowski was awarded the 2016 Ellen Daniel-Jones Distinguished Service Award

“Ms. Badanowski retired from classroom teaching in 2010. She taught AP chemistry, chemistry, chemistry in the community, environmental science and forensic science.  She also teaches teachers-to-be at Wayne State University and Michigan State University.  She is involved with many science and teaching organizations.” (

Tooba Mansoor, science teacher at Dearborn Center for Math, Science, and Technology:   "I had an opportunity to take a course with Ms. Rachel Badanowski at Wayne State University.  She consistently encouraged and supported her students to become excellent future teachers.  She taught us best teaching practices, provided us with unique content teaching ideas, and encouraged us to become involve in professional learning communities.  I was inspired by her passion for teaching and learning.  She always seemed to be the one who is willing to share her experiences with others."

Dr. Clarence L. Stone, former principal at SHS says: ”She was one of the best teachers I had the great pleasure to work with in my 34 years in education.”

Paul Klozik and Dr. Michael Suckley were awarded the 2015 Ellen Daniel-Jones Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Michael Suckley has over 45 years of teaching experience at middle, high school and university level, Professor at Macomb Community College for Physical and Environmental Science. Is involved in development and workshop presentations of instructional materials and educational projects.  Mr. Paul A. Klozik has over 45 years of teaching experience at the high school level, Community College and is a workshop leader. Introduced and promoted Science Olympics at Sterling Heights high school. Developed and taught courses that are interrelated between Physics, Mathematics, Environmental Science, Computers, Research, and IDS.

MDSTA -- PO Box 111, Southfield, MI 48037

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