Superintendent's Awards 2019

8th Annual Superintendent's Awards for Excellence in Museum Education

The Superintendent’s Awards for Excellence in Museum Education Competition recognizes the outstanding achievements in California museum programs that serve K-12 students and/or educators. The competition is the joint project of the sponsors, the California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Over the past seven years, the competition has received over 150 entries, representing a diverse range of institutions, that demonstrate the vibrant contributions museums make to California’s K-12 educational system. Click here to review guidelines, eligibility, and instructions for applying, in addition to the scoring rubric for the 2019 Superintendent's Awards. 


The 2019 award-winning programs:


Estuary Explorers Club

Elkhorn Slough Reserve

The Estuary Explorers Club is a 2nd-5th grade after-school program at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. The program provides a unique opportunity for low-income, Hispanic students to experience the environment through field investigations, hands-on nature activities, and stewardship projects. The Explorers conduct field studies and collect data through activities that take them outside with reserve staff. Estuary Explorers are developing a lifelong love for their world!



 California Statewide Leader Network


The Exploratorium’s California Science Leader Network supports K-12 teacher leaders and professional learning providers to lead the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards. Through face-to-face institutes, online workshops, and peer-based communication tools, educators leverage inquiry-rich, phenomenon-based science experiences to inspire the next generation of science learners.



 Getty Unshuttered

J. Paul Getty Museum

Getty Unshuttered is an innovative multi-platform teen arts program offered by the J. Paul Getty Museum. Beginning with our belief that everyone is an artist, we created an accessible online platform that empowers teens to change the world through photography--both by telling their stories and advocating for causes that they support. 




Ocean Ambassadors

Marine Mammal Center

Ocean Ambassadors is a marine science program providing middle-school teachers access to curriculum, resources and professional development throughout the year. Inspired as environmental stewards, students share solutions with their community, building confidence in their science knowledge and skills. Ocean Ambassadors is serving 46 teachers and 4,000 students in California.




Creative Horizons

Riverside Art Museum 

Riverside Art Museum’s CREATIVE HORIZONS programming engages at-risk and justice-involved youth via collaborative mural projects that harness the power of art as a catalyst for behavioral change, and that foster self-exploration, encourage community involvement, and create awareness of creative-industry vocational opportunities.



Tech Academies of Innovation

Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Academies of Innovation, in partnership with school districts and after-school organizations in underserved communities, strengthens STEM learning and ensures the next generation of innovators comes from our own backyard by creating a network of K-12 engineering education leaders with cross-curricular expertise on integration of engineering and computer science.




The 2019 award winners will be presented with their awards on Saturday, February 9, 2019 by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond or his designee. The awards presentation is being held in conjunction with the CAM conference in San Francisco. For more information, contact Celeste DeWald, Executive Director, at 


Thank you to the Review Committee members:

Rebekah Harding, Associate Director of Learning and Engagement, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Kanani Hoopai, Director of Education, Mission Inn Foundation

Jacqueline Matranga, Ed.D., Education Programs Consultant, Regional Support and Awards Office, California Department of Education