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Year: 1996 – Province: Ontario
Carl Twiddy is known throughout southern Ontario's York Region as the "chemistry show teacher" because of his annual chemical safety demonstration. The show teaches more than safety, however, and has done as much to introduce young people to chemistry as it has to promote the safe handling of chemicals. Mr. Twiddy, who is head of the science department at Markham District High School in Markham, Ontario, has spent 30 years increasing awareness of chemistry inside and outside the classroom. His programs have earned him respect from industry figures who appreciate his efforts to teach the public about the chemical industry. This close relationship has allowed Mr. Twiddy to develop a successful co-op program for his students. The primary effect of Mr. Twiddy's efforts has been to prepare people to function in a world where science, and in particular chemistry, is increasingly important. His presentations to elementary school students have closed the gap between the science they study at that level and secondary studies. He has worked with universities and industry to create programs that have prepared high school students for what they would find in their university-level studies, and later in the working world. Finally, his public awareness presentations have helped overcome stereotypes about the chemical industry.