By Debra Shapiro
Posted on 2022-04-19
NSTA mourns the loss of Bill G. Aldridge, NSTA’s Executive Director from 1980 to 1995, who passed away on April 11 at home in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, at age 90. During his time as executive director, Aldridge oversaw the purchase of NSTA’s current headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and the move there from the former Washington, D.C., headquarters building. An NSTA Life Member, he also served as NSTA Director of Special Projects from 1995 to 1996.
At the beginning of his lengthy career in science education, Aldridge earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and math and master’s degrees in educational evaluation, science education, and physics. He taught high school science and college physics from 1957 to 1977. From 1977 to 1979, he served as a program officer for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Science Education Development and Research.
Aldridge authored more than 20 books, the most popular being The Ultimate Science Quiz, as well as numerous textbooks, monographs, articles, and published papers. His book Scope, Sequence, and Coordination: A High School Framework for Science Education was published by NSTA in 1996. Spearheaded by Aldridge, the Scope, Sequence, and Coordination of Secondary School Science project was a major national effort designed to reform K–12 science education.
He was also instrumental in establishing Quantum: The Magazine of Math and Science, a United States–based bimonthly magazine of mathematics and science, designed for young readers. It was published by NSTA and Springer-Verlag beginning in 1990. Quantum was a sister publication of the Russian Kvant, a journal of math and physics.
Aldridge was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow and an NSF Science Faculty Fellow and received several awards. In 1995, NASA honored him with its Distinguished Public Service Medal. The award is the highest medal that NASA can present to someone who is not part of the agency. The American Association of Physics Teachers presented him with its Distinguished Service Citation “for exceptional contributions to the teaching of physics.” And in 2012, he received the Brandwein Medal for his lifetime achievement in promoting science education and teacher professionalism.
His wife of 57 years, Alice Arlene Hazen, preceded him in death in 2008. Aldridge is survived by his partner, Carmen Bizjack, and four children, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
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