Alaska High School Science and Engineering Teacher Receives 2023 Shell Science Teaching Award

Catherine Walker Wins $10,000 Cash Prize for Positive Impact on Her Students and School

Shell USA Inc. and the National Science Teaching Association today announced that Catherine Walker, a science and engineering teacher at Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, is the recipient of the 2023 Shell Science Teaching Award. During an award ceremony at the NSTA National Conference in Atlanta in March, Walker was formally recognized for her achievement.

“Science teachers who demonstrate exemplary instructional methods and engage students in inquiry-based practices improve student interest, achievement, and attainment of technical degrees,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, VP, Shell USA Company Foundation, Director, Workforce Development and Diversity Outreach “They promote creativity and innovation skills that support critical thinking, exploration, and discovery – all needed for future careers.”

The foundation of Walker’s educational philosophy is to give students opportunities to fail forward in a safe, productive environment. She aims to provide opportunities for students to struggle with tasks and ideas so they learn to collaborate to find solutions. She teaches students how to give one another constructive, effective feedback and how to reflect on feedback to improve their work. Her students are exposed to career connections in a variety of ways and are given power over their learning to pursue interests and see meaning in the professional and technological skills they are developing at school. Walker communicates openly with students and their caregivers and reflects on their feedback so she can grow and improve as a teacher.

In 2015, Walker was honored with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). She is National Board Certified and has earned National Geographic teacher certification. She also has received the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Marine Science Outreach Award, which is presented to a person, team, or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to ocean literacy via formal or informal education, media, or other communications.

Walker received the Shell Science Teaching Award for her positive impact on her students and school through exemplary classroom science teaching. She was awarded a $10,000 cash prize from Shell USA Inc. and expenses to attend NSTA’s National Conference in Atlanta, which took place March 22–25.

“Congratulations to all the outstanding NSTA award winners. NSTA Teacher Awards are one of the highest honors any educator can receive. We are extremely proud of the work these incredible educators have accomplished. Each one of them is an exemplary role model for their colleagues and an inspiration for their students,” said NSTA President Elizabeth Mulkerrin.

In addition to Walker, two finalists were selected. Crystal McDowell, a science teacher at Greenbrier High School in Evans, Georgia, and Jennie Warmouth, a teacher at Spruce Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, received expenses to attend NSTA’s National Conference in Atlanta, and were recognized for their achievements at the award ceremony that took place during the conference.

More information about the Shell Science Teaching Award and the NSTA Teacher Awards Program can be found online at

About Shell USA Inc.

Shell USA Inc.’s commitment to community and social responsibility has been in place for more than 50 years. During this time, we have contributed more than a billion dollars to support community, health and welfare, environmental, arts and cultural activities, various educational initiatives, including minority education, and diversity and inclusiveness programs in Houston and the U.S.


About NSTA

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit, or following NSTA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Congratulations to the 2023 @Shell Science Teaching Award recipient, Catherine Walker, a science and engineering teacher at Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska.


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