Margaret-Ann Armour (1996)

armourAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Chemistry.

Citation: Margaret-Ann Armour’s contributions to teaching begin with the traditional role of running the laboratory program in organic chemistry and extend to a variety of activities that have had an impact across Canada. Perhaps the most notable and significant contribution is her pioneering work to interest young people in science. She was a founding member of WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology), where she devised and implemented innovative ways of encouraging young women to enter careers in science, engineering and technology. This program was recognized in 1994 by the Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, and by the Royal Society of Canada in the award of the McNeil Medal. In 1995, she received the University of Alberta’s Academic Women’s Award, presented annually to a woman who has made an extraordinary contribution to the University.

Margaret-Ann Armour has had a major impact on the teaching of chemistry, particularly in the areas of improving laboratory instruction, laboratory safety, and the safe disposal of laboratory chemicals. She creates and presents annual laboratory safety seminars for graduate students in the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences, and for students in the science education program of the Faculty of Education. She serves on the University of Alberta’s Occupuational Health and Safety Policies and Environmental Issues Committee and has made literally hundreds of presentations (nationally and internationally) promoting chemical education, chemical safety and environmental issues. Her work influences the attitudes of science teachers at all levels, both in Alberta and throughout Canada. She is an outstanding teacher, who is well-liked by students, teaching assistants, and colleagues.

In 1996 WISEST won the Excellence in Science and Technology Public Awareness Prize from ASTech, the Alberta Science and Technology Awards Foundation. In 1998, Margaret-Ann was named a CITV Woman of Vision and in 1999 received the University of Alberta Board of Governor’s Award of Distinction, both of these for her work in fostering the interest of young women in the sciences and engineering.