Remembering Irwin Talesnick

Long-time Friend and Mentor Leaves an Unforgettable Legacy in the World of Science Education

The science education world lost a wonderful man by the name of Irwin Talesnick on November 21, 2020. Irwin became a dear friend over the years. As you can see from the photo (about 1993 or so), Irwin literally took Renee and me under his wings providing support and encouragement as we grew our training and science supplies business.

There was a time in our lives that Irwin and I were on the science teacher convention circuit (so to speak). We would travel the country presenting at the regional and national NSTA conferences. My fondest memories of Irwin will always be the times I would walk into his presentation room the night before his workshop and talk for hours as he was getting ready. Irwin didn’t believe in PowerPoint… he was an amazing science demonstrator who electrified a room packed with science teachers (young and old) who showed up for engaging demonstrations, new ideas, sage advice and a big dose of inspiration.

Irwin and his wife, Ruth, invited us to speak at the Science Teachers Association of Ontario conference in 1995 (a wonderful honor). During the conference, they invited us into their home for one of Ruth’s amazing dinners. Little did we know that we would get the opportunity to meet so many legends in science education that evening. Each guest had a another story about the impact and influence Irwin had on their life.

I will be forever grateful for the day that Irwin stopped to talk to me on the crowded exhibit floor at a science convention in Denver. I recognized his name as the author of a book of science experiments I had at home. We struck up a conversation… shared our favorite demonstrations… and he proceeded to change our lives forever.

Irwin, thank you for teaching me the importance of presentation and pizazz when it comes to creating experiences students will remember forever. Rest in peace.

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