2022 Medal Winners | francais

The 2022 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Quebec and Nunavut)

is awarded to

Hélène Nadeau

"While our efforts to build innovative teaching practices are often met with skepticism and unexpected hurdles, we have remained driven by our passion to provide holistic learning environments. Receiving this award is incredibly energizing, and shines a deserved light on the brilliant projects our students are leading." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2022 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Quebec and Nunavut) is awarded to Hélène Nadeau, Dawson College, in recognition of her dedication to teaching physics and the development of students’ experimental and research skills. Hélène has developed unique cégep courses combining neuroscience and the physics of brain imaging techniques. In addition to supervising and encouraging students in a variety of research projects, she also supports them in extra-curricular competitions, such as “Science, on tourne!”, PontPop, and Concours Génie Civilisé. Teaching interdisciplinary content with a collaborative, problem-solving approach, Hélène sets students up for success in pursuing careers in the sciences. announcement

Dr. Hélène Nadeau has taught a wide variety of physics courses for over 25 years. Her courses are all designed to be interactive and student-centred, with many group activities and problem-solving sessions, so that the students participate actively in their own learning. She has also extensively mentored students in designing and building objects to perform specific tasks, so that they could experience physics in the real world.

Over the years, Dr. Nadeau identified a significant weakness in the science program. CEGEP students dream of becoming tomorrow’s innovators but have very little opportunity to get acquainted with how science is really done. There is a crying need for a strategy for introducing a large number of students to the ins and outs of authentic research projects. As today’s students are attracted by multidisciplinary research, Dr. Nadeau designed a combination of programs in which students work on projects combining several disciplines under the umbrella of neuroscience:

1. In the summer internship program in research in neuroscience, students work on projects with partners in various labs in the Montreal area. This began in 2015 and has been pursued every summer since, growing enormously in popularity.
2. In the Fall of 2017, an extra-curricular activity was started, in which a large group of Dawson students is led through a year-long research project. This too has become an annual event.
3. In 2019 a new science option course was created, entitled Topics in Physics: Introduction to Brain Imaging. And in 2021 a complementary course, open to students of any program, was given: Contemporary issues: Introduction to research in Neuroscience.

The CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High-school/CEGEP Physics is awarded to Dr. Hélène Nadeau in appreciation of this innovative program of introducing CEGEP students to research. nominator citation

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