Hector Ibarra

West Branch School District
middle school science
West Branch, Iowa
Total years as classroom teacher: 22

Hector Ibarra was born in the one-room schoolhouse in Mexico in which his mother taught.

Operation Appreciation is a community service projects, in which
students learn the germination requirements of bulbs as they force
tulip, hyacinths, and narcissus into flowering out of season and then
surprise citizens in nursing homes and business personnel with the
bouquets.  His science programs have received a national award in
each of the last four years. He has allowed over 100 schools and over
5,000 students to be involved in a project to design, build, and race
miniature solar cars.

Light bulbs and water faucets become experimental equipment and
living textbooks. He has developed software that enables his students to
measure the energy and water consumption of these devices, and to
estimate energy, monetary and pollution savings as a result of
substituting more efficient methods. This award-winning project requires
parents to be actively involved in helping their children with
measurements, calculations, and verifications of the results.

“Through extracurricular activities, he has made science be a ‘cool’
thing for anyone with an interest, which as it turns out, is quite a
diverse cross-section of the school.” — Paula Verlo, parent of one of
Ibarra’s students

Education

1998

Completing Ph.D. coursework

1992

Master of Science

1975

University of Iowa, Bachelor of Science

Teaching Experience

1980 – present

West Branch Middle School, 6th-8th grade science

1976 – 1980

New London Junior High School, 7th and 8th grade science

Special Recognition

2005
Walmart National Teacher of the Year

2004

Region VII Environmental Protection Agency National award

2004

President’s Environmental Youth Award

2004

eCybermission national environmental award

2004

Disney Hand Educator Teacher award

2004

Fulbright Memorial Fund Master Teacher Program

2003

cEybermission national environmental award – 2nd place

2003

Semifinalists in Bayer NSF C0ommunity Issues award for Region 3 (7 states).

2003

Students fenalists in National Middle School Science Quiz Bowl, Golden, CO.

2003

Runner up – Iowa Teacher of the Year

2003

Fulbright Memorial Fund Master Teacher Program

2002

Semifinalists in Bayer NSF Community Issues award for Region 3 (7 states).

2002

Governor’s Environmental Excellence award: Waste Management

2002

Publication: Ibarra, Hector. ShowBoard, Inc. Tampa. 2002. Solar Powered Racers: Racing with the Sun.

2002

USA Today First Teacher Team

2002

Christa McAuliffe Fellowship

2002

Finalist – Iowa Teacher of the Year

2001

National Science Teachers Association Distinguished Teaching Award

2001

Who’s Who Among America’s Teacher

2000

Finalist – Iowa Teacher of the Year

2000

Governor’s (Iowa) Environmental Excellence leadership award

2000

State Farm Good Neighbor national award. 10 teachers selected.

2000

American Water Works Association National Award

2000

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers

2000

EPA Region VII Environmental Educator of the Year for the state of Iowa

1999

West Branch Chamber of Commerce Community Member of the Year Award

1999

Finalist – Iowa Teacher of the Year

1999

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers

1999

Community Advisor to the elementary (K-3) project selected as the
First Place National Recipient in the Toshiba/NSTA Explora Vision Awards
program.

1999

“Solar powered racers”, Science Scope, March 1999; 22(9): 26-29.

1998

“Finding Common Ground”, Science Scope, March 1998, 21(6): 54-56.

1998

“Balloon powered racers”, Science Scope, Nov/Dec 1998; 22(3): 21-23.

1997-98

President, National Middle Level Science Teachers Association

1997

Fulbright Study Abroad: Japan

1996

National Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator

1995

NAGT Central Section Earth Science

1994

Gustav-Ohaus Innovations Award

1993

Presidential Science Teaching Award

1993

Milken National Educator Award

1993

Governor’s Commission Involvement Award

1992

Fulbright Study Abroad: Russia

1991

IAS Excellence in Teaching Award