Stephen Thompson

College of Natural Sciences
Department of Chemistry
Appointed: 2000-2011
Email: [email protected]
Web: View Stephen Thompson’s Web Page

  • B.A., University of Birmingham, Chemistry, 1961
  • Ph.D., University of Birmingham, Analytical Chemitry, 1964

Now retired from the University, Dr. Stephen Thompson, Professor of Chemistry, and the Director of the Center for Science, Mathematices and Technology Education, CSMATE, was the 2005 recipient of the Colorado State Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Dr. Thompson was honored as one of the first four Colorado State University Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2000.

Teaching Awards and Recognitions

  • The Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award, CSU, 2003
  • Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation, CSU, 1993
  • The U.S. Department Of Education Mina Shaugnessy Scholar Award, 1984
  • University Honors Profesor Award, 1984
  • The L.W. Durrell Distinguished Award for Innovative Teaching Methods, CSU, 1977

Teaching Activities

In total, Dr. Thompson has taught 54,985 undergraduate students in 2500 courses and laboratories over 35 years at Colorado State University. Dr. Thompson exemplifies excellence in teaching described by the CSU Board of Governors, “Excellence in teaching involves creating a process of inquiry that stimulates the curiosity of students and that helps them to develop and probe ideas. “Dr. Thompson personifies teaching that increases motivation, challenges students and channels inquiry. He has directed the undergraduate chemisty laboratory program at Colorado State for many years and is a pioneer in the development and application of Small-Scale Science methods in chemistry instruction at the secondary and post-secondary school levels.

His Service to Outside Community and International Training includes: Visiting Chemistry Professor, Kagawa University, 2003-2005; Senior Project Director of the Korean Science Teacher Project, National Institute for Educational Development and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, South Korea, 2002-2006; the Chulalongkorn University Partnership for Thailand Program for Small-Scale Chemistry, 2001; and the UNESCO Teacher Education Project for India, 1979-80. Dr. Thompson has served as the Past President, in 2000 of the AAAS, Western Region; the John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecturer, in 1996; and the Phi Kappa Phi, Colorado State chapter, Secretary, 1995-2005.

Dr. Thompson is the developer and director of numerous Innovations in Teaching, Learning, Curricula and Research Tools, in Small-Scale Chemistry and Small=Scale Science. These include:

  • Project Director and Pl, “Powerful Pictures: A Conceptually based Curriculum for First-Year Chemistry”, U.S. Dept. of Education, FIPSE, 2001-2004
  • Project Director and Pl, “The Solutions Project: Reducing the Cost of Laboratory Education,” 1998-2001
  • Profect Director and Pl, “Pollution Prevention in Community College Instructional Laboratories”, U.S. Environment Protection Agency, 1997-99
  • Profect Director and Pl, “S3TAR: Small-Scale Science: Teachers As Researchers,” NSF, 1992-1996; and Colorado Domm. Higher Education, 1993-1995
  • Chemistry Faculty Leader, “Rocky Mountain Teacher Education Collaborative-RMTEC”, NSF, 1995-1999
  • Co-Pl, Instructional Laboratory Devolopment, NSF, 1991

Professor Thompson continuously works to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in science, mathematics and technology including thses commitments as Chemistry Professor and Course developer, Key Academic Community of underrepresented and first generation undergraduates, 1999-present; Faculty Presenter, El Centro Science, Math and Technology Days, 1994-2006; the Profect Director, “American Indians Bridging Culture with Small-Scale Science” (ABCS3), funded by the EPA and Packard Foundation 1998; and Project Faculty and Partner, Triunfo Tutoring Program with CSU El Centro Student Services, Fall 2005-present.

Dr. Thompson received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, England, 1961, and studied at the Rotherham College Of Advanced Technology in Chemistry, ARIC in 1959. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Birmingham,England, 1964 and Analytical Chemistry Post Doc 1966 at the Universtiy of Arizona, Tempe, AZ.

He is the author of numerous innovative chemistry texts including, CHEMTREK-Small=Scale Experiments for General Chemistry (text for chemistry science major courses), Prentice Hall, First Edition, 1975, Pearson, Fourth Edition 1990; ECHEM, Kendall-Hunt, 1996, (non-science major courses); in collaboration with Waterman, E.L & Thompson, Stephen. Small-Scale Chemistry Lab Manual (for high school chemistry courses), First Ed. 1993, Third Ed. and Chemistry Laboratory: A New View, 1976.

Currently Dr. Thompson’s research focus is on creating, developing and testing interdisciplinary case studies integrated with Tablet PC technology in the LabtopSystem. His wide ranging research interests include the anthrocyanin pigments of plants and the chemistry of atmospheric aerosols.

Science Magazine (Nov. 4, 1994) featured a full page article on “Stephen Thompson: Call Him Czar of Small-Scale Chemistry. ” He began his career as a fire-eater and sword swallower in a European circus.