Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Junior
Anyone who knows Emmaus High School Environmental Science teacher Stephen Baier can probably list countless reasons why Baier was been named this year's Da Vinci Science Center Hall of Fame Grand Master.
Of course, there's the fact that he's led the . He's also known for arranging all sorts of interactive activities for his students, like biking on a cycle built for eight or riding in fuel cell powered cars.
Do you have a word of congratulations for Stephen Baier?
Out of hundreds of teachers in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, Baier and three other educators were chosen as the recipients of the prestigious award, a recognition that only two other Emmaus teachers have ever received. It’s certainly an honor, and Baier says he is proud to be recognized for his efforts over his three decades as an educator.
Baier was inspired to pursue a career in Environmental Science after experiencing the very first Earth Day in 1969.
From there, his passion for the environment grew from a mere appreciation of the outdoors to a drive to help make the world a better place. After attending Cornell University as an Environmental Science/Biology major, Baier planted himself here in Emmaus, where he has initiated two Environmental Science courses into the EHS curriculum.
Baier certainly tries to infect his students with his love for the environment through his teaching. He tries to keep his courses dynamic and applicable to every day issues. He says that his Environmental Science course “has offered many hundreds of students an exposure to the concepts of sustainability and their role as stewards of the earth.”
Even if kids don’t understand the big picture when they’re sitting in class taking notes on pollution or pesticides, Baier hopes that some day they will become environmentally active.
Even if only a handful of students come out of his course enlightened, he’ll be satisfied: “I do not propose 100 percent success! But, if I can inspire a only a few students per year (hopefully more!), to again think of their role as 'stewards,' to carry over this to their future lives, jobs, and careers, I’ll feel the seed [of change] has been 'passed' to the next generation!”
Chrissy Cilento, a junior at , plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.