For Dwight G. Brown and his father, Jess Brown, science runs in the family.
Both father and son have received three top state science teacher awards. This year, Dwight Brown, a teacher at Bountiful High School, topped his father's record when he was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.The elder Brown recently retired after teaching chemistry for 30 years at East High School. While they share interests and experiences, there has also been keen competition and a healthy respect between father and son.
Of concern to both is that the students lack the love of learning, particularly of science. The younger Brown faults parents for helping create a nation of scientific illiterates.
"They (students) equate success with the dollars they can instantly earn, even if they're earned working at McDonald's," he said.
Dwight Brown said the lack of respect and reverence for knowledge is even manifested in the top echelons of government. He said that was evident when President Reagan didn't show up to a White House ceremony to honor him and other top science and math teachers.
"I guess he had something better to do that day," Dwight Brown said.
His national award comes with a $5,000 grant that will be used to purchase equipment for Bountiful High's science classes.