Issue Date: November 12, 2012
David Pysnik, 65, a chemistry teacher in New York state, died on March 12.
Born in Cairnbrook, Pa., he received a B.S. in chemistry from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., in 1968 and an M.S. in chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1972. He served in the Army in Heidelberg, Germany, from 1968 until 1970.
Pysnik taught at Sidney High School in Sidney, N.Y., for 37 years, retiring from that role in 2009. However, he continued working as an adjunct chemistry instructor at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., until his death.
During his career, Pysnik spent 20 summers at Ithaca College, in New York, conducting research with undergraduates and other science teachers. In the early 1980s, he assisted Ithaca chemistry professor Robert F. Pasternack in his study of the anticancer activity of metal compounds.
Pysnik led two major, ongoing pedagogical projects: the Upper Susquehanna Watershed Project, which involves monitoring river tributaries, and the Sidney Science Express, a mobile chemistry laboratory serving science educators in New York state.
Pysnik received the Catalyst Award from the Chemical Manufacturers Association (now the American Chemistry Council), the ACS Northeast Regional Award in High School Chemistry Teaching, and the ACS James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science & Mathematics Teaching in 1994. Pysnik joined ACS in 1990.
He is survived by his wife, Gabrielle; daughters, Beth Kramer, Mary, and Annie; sons, Eric and Stephen; and three grandchildren.
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