Balmer Prize 2018 of the Swiss Chemical Society for Dr. Thibaud Rossel
Dr. Thibaud Rossel, teacher at the Gymnase français de Bienne and former PhD student in the research group of Prof. Thomas Ward at the Chemistry Department of the University of Basel, has received the Balmer Prize 2018 of the Swiss Chemical Society "for his very original and impressive research program […] using simple methods and resources and, even more impressively, the experiments are shared with high-school students, who are happy to carry-out original research work as part of their training in chemistry".
The Balmer prize is awarded for innovation in chemistry teaching, and Dr. Rossel’s idea to introduce his students to original chemistry research as part of their high-school training – otherwise seldom encountered by high-school students – is a vivid example of encouraging youths to get interested in science and eventually pursue a career in this field.
Dr. Thibaud Rossel was a student in the group of Prof. Thomas Ward from 2006-2011 and received a PhD from the University of Basel in 2011. Following a teacher-training, he is teaching at the Gymnase français de Bienne filière MSp since 2013.
Prof. Thomas Ward as well as Dr. Marc Creus – former colleague in the Department of Chemistry and scientific collaborator at the Biozentrum – supported Dr. Rossel’s project “Chimie en Couleurs” with academic advice and by offering the opportunity for high-school students to do a 2-3 week research placement at the University of Basel.
Dr. Marc Creus stated: “Thibaud managed to set-up a small-scale, but impressive and visionary research program, providing an important bridge between school and University educations. I am very happy for Thibaud and proud that we have participated from the University of Basel to the success of this pioneering high-school pilot-project.”
The Balmer Prize is awarded for innovation in chemistry teaching to a teacher working in Switzerland or to a team of teachers working at the same school at the high school level. It comprises CHF 2'000 for individuals and CHF 2'000 for the school’s chemistry department and a medal in bronze
The innovation must consist of an original didactic approach, experimental method or teaching practice and be readily applicable to everyday teaching at the high school level. The costs for materials must be modest.