ROBERT ROTIER (LEFT) PRESENTS ROBERT LALANCETTE, A TEACHER AT NASHUA NORTH HIGH SCHOOL, WITH A STEM EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD IN 2018.
Elementary school teacher Suzanne Schedin created an Innovation Lab, a MakerSpace full of supplies and activities that any group in the school can use for STEM activities. High school teacher Robert Lalancette developed a Marine Robotics program, in which students build remotely operated vehicles and learn ocean engineering, marine biology, computer engineering, and manufacturing.
These are just a couple examples of the activities and individuals who have garnered STEM Excellence in Teaching Awards over the last 13 years. The awards are given to elementary, middle, and high school teachers by the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers in collaboration with the Joint Committee of New Hampshire Engineering Societies and other partners, such as the state licensing board.
According to Matthew Low, P.E., an NSPE member who oversaw the awards from 2010–2017, they began as a way to recognize educators who were “energizing and inspiring the potential engineers of tomorrow.” The New Hampshire Society knew from NSPE and others that students decide in the middle school years whether they may pursue a technical path. Says Low, “We wanted to recognize the teachers at all levels who were helping to keep scientific or engineering fields as options for students as long as possible.”
Nominated teachers are evaluated on their creativity, innovation, integration of programs, and learning effectiveness. Nominations may be made by parent teacher organizations, fellow teachers, school administrators, or others. The winners receive about $250.
According to Robert Rotier, a retired chemical engineer and teacher who has chaired the awards committee for the last two years, a growing number of nominations are in the technology and engineering areas. More schools are building engineering programs into curricula, he says.
Key to winning the awards is what he calls “STEM leadership.” Are the teachers getting grants, modifying the curriculum, “changing the world of how kids learn”?
Learn more about the awards and view winners.
National Engineers Week (E-Week) is celebrated around the country every year in February to commemorate the birth of engineering, beginning with the first US engineer and President, George Washington. This year our Annual Awards Banquet will be held at the Grappone Conference Center – 70 Constitution Avenue in Concord, NH. On behalf of the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-NH) and the New Hampshire Joint Engineering Societies, we invite you to join us for casual evening with friends and colleagues to honor scholarship recipients, Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year.
Application deadline is April 30. To read more, go to our Scholarship page.