The ISDDE Prize for Design in Education

Each year, ISDDE awards a $5,000 prize for excellence in design in education for science or mathematics. The prize alternates, annually, between recognizing a substantial body of work by an individual or team and celebrating an individual product or project.

2017 Call for Nominations

The ISDDE 2017 Prize of $5,000 is offered for a substantial body of work, by an individual or a team, over a period of years that shows excellence in design for education in science or mathematics. Nominations are solicited from Fellows, Members, and friends of ISDDE. The closing date for initial nominations is July 31st 2017. Please see the linked document for full instructions.

Read the complete call for nominations…

Past Winners

2016 ISDDE Prize - Uri Wilensky


At the 2016 ISDDE Conference in Utrecht, the 2016 ISDDE Prize for “excellence in design for education in science or mathematics” was awarded to Uri Wilensky of Northwestern University for his work on NetLogo – a computer-based modeling environment that enables learners to both explore and build computer models of natural and social phenomena.

“Through a sustained and deliberate design process, Uri Wilensky has created a substantial product that is used by others to develop and share innovative prototypes – this recognition and impacts is the overarching criterion for the ISDDE Award,” said Professor Susan McKenney, Chair of ISDDE.

Read the full prize citation…

2015: Sol Garfunkel of COMAP

Lifetime Achievement in Educational Design

The International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) has awarded the prestigious 2015 ISDDE Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Educational Design worth $10,000 to Solomon Garfunkel, Director of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) in Bedford, Massachusetts.

The unifying theme in Garfunkel’s work has been the teaching of mathematics through mathematical modeling of real world situations – the message has always been that math is important, useful and interesting and the COMAP designed resources reflect that philosophy.

Read the full prize citation…

2014: Christine Cunningham

Christine Cunningham (centre) receives the 2014 ISDDE Prize from Chris Schunn and Malcolm Swan

The 2014 Prize of $10,000 was for “for excellence in design for education in science or mathematics.” On October 1st, at the 2014 ISDDE conference in Cambridge, England, the prize was awarded to Dr. Christine Cunningham for Engineering is Elementary. Engineering is Elementary (EiE) has moved the field of educational design forward by providing proof of concept that even young children in ordinary classrooms can learn to love engineering. The EiE program, developed by a team at the Boston Museum of Science led by Dr. Cunningham, has reached over 6 million children and over 68,000 teachers across the United States.

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2013: Hugh Burkhardt

The 2013 Prize of $10,000 was offered for a substantial body of work, by an individual or a team, over a period of years that showed excellence in design for education in science or mathematics.

Picture: Hugh Burkhardt

We are delighted to announce that the 2013 prize has been awarded to Professor Hugh Burkhardt. For more than 35 years, Hugh Burkhardt has made outstanding contributions to educational design. He has done so through his leadership of the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, his contributions to a large number of its influential products, and the development of its engineering research methodology. He has fostered the improvement of educational practice through the use of high quality assessment and the creation of institutions that foster excellence in educational design. His initiatives have often involved questioning established orthodoxies in both mathematics education research and design. Impact on learning and teaching in classrooms has been his priority throughout.

Together with his award-winning team at the Shell Centre, Hugh Burkhardt has led over a dozen design projects that are widely recognized for both their quality and their impact on practice. He was also instrumental in founding ISDDE in 2005.

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2012: Jacqueline Barber

At the 2012 ISDDE conference in Utrecht it was announced that this year's ISDDE Prize for Excellence in Educational Design has been awarded to Jacqueline  Barber for her work on Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, a curriculum for Grades 2 through 5, that integrates science and literacy to provide access to deep science knowledge, academic language, and powerful skills and strategies in both literacy and science.

Jacqueline Barber Currently she serves as the Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science and Director of its Curriculum Center.

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2011: Jan de Lange

Picture of Jan de Lange

Congratulations to Jan de Lange, former director of the Freudenthal institute, who has been awarded the 2011 ISDDE Prize. This year's $10 000 prize was offered for a substantial body of work, by an individual or a team, over a period of years that shows excellence in design for education in science or mathematics.

Jan is an exceptional designer. He has a flair for finding fresh, beautiful, original, contexts for students and shows humour in communicating them. He emphasises the importance of visualization and 'slow" step by step progression in designs.

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2010: Michal Yerushalmy – Visual Math

Photo of Michal YerushalmyThe winner of the ISDDE Prize for 2010 was announced at the Oxford conference, during the conference dinner at the Ashmolean museum. The prize has been awarded to Michal Yerushalmy for her work on VisualMath, a curriculum developed through a rigorous process to produce innovative materials with great demonstrated impact on students, teachers, and educational designers around the world.

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2009: Paul Black

Photo of Paul Black receiving his prize from Phil Daro The 2009 award, “for a substantial body of work over a period of years” was awarded to Paul Black of Kings College London. Professor Black has made major innovative contributions of four different kinds. He led the revolution in UK science education. He pioneered the development of a design-focused approach to Design and Technology, a field that had been largely craft-based. As chair of the Task Group on Assessment and Testing (TGAT), he led the design of the assessment system for the UK National Curriculum. He launched the current movement to recognize and exploit the potential of formative assessment in improving student learning.

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2008: Glenda Lappan & Betty Phillips – Connected Mathematics
and Malcolm Swan – The Language of Functions and Graphs

In 2008, two prizes were awarded to examples of exceptional educational design:

Glendas Lappan and Betty Phillips for their roles in the development of Connected Mathematics, a three-year mathematics curriculum for US middle school students, aged 11 to 14.

Malcolm Swan for The Language of Functions and Graphs. Published in 1985, this seminal work has influenced the design of instructional materials and assessments world-wide.

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Updated 10 October 2014