WASHINGTON, DC – June 3, 2013 – National Engineers Week Foundation
today announced the winners of the 2013 DiscoverE Educator Awards. This national awards program shines a spotlight on educators who are inspiring tomorrow’s innovation generation by helping students discover engineering. The program is open to all full-time educators teaching in grades 6-12.
The 2013 honorees include:
Steve Meyer, Brillion High School, Brillion, WI
Nicole Penn, Kiser Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Anthony Williams, Omaha North High Magnet School, Omaha, NE.
Eight other top educators from across the country have been honored as runner ups. Teachers can be nominated by either engineers or engineering students. Winners were selected by National Engineers Week Foundation and its non-profit partners.
Each of the three winners receives a $2,000 cash prize, a 3M digital projector, and a 3M gift pack of classroom supplies. The prize also includes a trip to Washington, DC, where the winners were honored today at a ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian. The eight runners up receive $500 each, as well as a 3M Shoot ’n Share camera and a 3M gift pack.
The DiscoverE Educator Awards is a program of National Engineers Week Foundation and its partners. Funding is provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Bechtel, ExxonMobil and 3M.
“Teachers play such an important role in society. They inform and inspire the next generation of engineers, which benefits all of us,” said Charlene Wheeless, Bechtel’s global manager of corporate affairs. “Congratulations to the eleven educators who were selected by engineers and students of engineering. We are grateful for their efforts in developing future engineers.”
Here is background on each of the winners:
Steve Meyer instructs college, high school, and middle school students and beginning in the fall will instruct elementary school teachers to teach the Engineering is Elementary curriculum. Steve says there are two reasons to inspire all students to discover engineering. “The first reason is that engineering can be used to help solve many of the world’s problems.…The students I am teaching now are the future engineers that will help solve these problems and create these opportunities.” The second reason is that all students can benefit from “thinking like an engineer.”
Steve established a manufacturing engineering curriculum, brings in speakers, arranges industry tours and internships, co-sponsors a STEM club, and supports vehicle and invention competitions. He also has helped connect his school to the business community, leading to the addition of a new $1.5 million technology and engineering education center. Each year he facilitates more than 50 tours for other schools, school boards, administrators, and industry leaders to visit the program and gain knowledge, create partnerships, and develop their own Technology and Engineering programs.
Nicole Penn helps students in grades 6-8 discover engineering because she wants them to be “exposed to skills such as teaming, problem-solving, and research that transcend almost any career.” She also knows that to teach and inspire, no one size fits all. “I am a firm believer that with patience and the ability to differentiate learning that all students are able to learn.”
Nicole runs a STEM-based afterschool club where students participate in a variety of engineering and technology competitions and activities. She shares her knowledge of robust STEM hands-on activities with fellow educators through workshops and summer programs.
Anthony Williams knows about perseverance. A college dropout, he eventually returned to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned BS and MS degrees in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. While working on a doctorate at the University of Central Florida, a National Science Foundation Fellowship required him to work with middle school teachers in integrated science. “I saw how much impact educators can have,” he says of that experience. Today, Anthony inspires students in grades 9-12 in engineering, math, and science classes.
Anthony has chartered a National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Jr. chapter in 2009, still the only such chapter in the state. The chapter has grown, and 15 graduates have earned more than $1.2 million in scholarships and gone on to pursue college engineering degrees.
The 2013 DiscoverE Educator Award runner-ups include:
· Holly Erickson, STEM Center, Fargo, North Dakota
· Brian Gill, Lone Oak High School, Paducah, Kentucky
· John Hammons, York High School, Yorktown, Virginia
· Gabriela Jaramillo Cordero, Liceo Nocturno de Nicoya and Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Corralillo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
· Branson Lawrence, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Illinois
· Mary Morgan, Derby High School, Derby, Kansas
· Kathleen Walsh, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
· Mark Westlake, Saint Thomas Academy, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
About National Engineers Week Foundation
National Engineers Week Foundation works year-round to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety, and welfare. The Foundation supports engineering outreach, education, and celebration through a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant. The Foundation and coalition are actively putting the E in STEM.
For more information about National Engineers Week Foundation, visit www.eweek.org
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications