Munson was honored for his role as a volunteer in the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl, a nationwide academic competition that tests middle and high school student teams in diverse areas of science and mathematics.
Argonne assists with the Illinois Regional Middle School Science Bowl, and for 17 of the past 19 years Munson has officiated at the competition. Furthermore, he has regularly officiated at the local High School Science Bowl and other regional competitions, providing technical knowledge and experience – and conveying his enthusiasm to young students interested in STEM careers.
While most of this work has been done in person, Munson recently ramped up his assistance when virtual competitions became the norm. Indeed, between June 2020 and May 2022, he officiated at an astonishing number of virtual competitions – 19 regional competitions, 4 national finals, and 2 national semifinals for the middle and high school competitions.
“One of the advantages of the virtual format was that I got to meet teams and officiate at so many virtual events across the country, from Oregon and Montana to Massachusetts and Connecticut, and many places in between,” Munson said.
He also recently officiated at the in-person national finals in July 2022; see the attached figure.
By committing years of volunteer service to this event, Munson has played a positive role in the lives of countless students. The Pinnacle of Education Award is an acknowledgment of his dedication and contributions.