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Queen’s remembers Professor Irwin Talesnick

Irwin TalesnickThe Queen’s community is remembering Irwin Talesnick, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Education, who died Nov. 21, 2020.

Professor Talesnick arrived at Queen’s in 1968 after teaching high school chemistry, physics, and general science in Toronto since 1960.

He would stay at Queen’s for the next 25 years as a professor of chemical preparing new teachers for life in the classroom and inspired many teacher candidates with his enthusiasm and love for science.

He also developed a number of teaching tools during his career, including the ‘Orange Juice Clock’. Powered by orange juice, the clock face featured atomic numbers, and helped introduce students to the main concepts of electrochemistry.

Similarly, he was well known for his stance that “Science is a verb,” meaning that students should be doing science, not watching it being done.

Professor Talesnick was a long-time, prominent member of Science Teachers Association of Ontario, and received the organization’s Life Member Award, recognizing his outstanding and sustained service to STAO.

When he retired from Queen’s in 1993, the organization presented him with the STAO Excellence in Science Teaching Award, and, at that time, renamed the award in his honour.

He was recognized by the Faculty of Education for his commitment to science education through the Irwin Talesnick Science Education Bursary, which was established by the organizing committee of ChemEd 89.

Following his retirement, Professor Talesnick increased his workshop and lecture schedule, taking him across Canada and the United States, as well as Mexico, England, Wales, China, Sweden, and Israel. His lectures were designed to motivate teachers, students, and the general public to inquire into the phenomena that are placed before them in the laboratory and in everyday life.