San Jose Sharks January 2022 Teacher of the Month
Tell us about yourself!
I have been teaching for 36 years and the same high school that I started my student teaching. My students range from 9th through 12th grades. Most of my current students are 9th graders. My passion for teaching comes from that fact that I had many teachers that were as role models. I also found that I enjoyed tutoring, where I could help others made it clear to that I should me to go into teaching. I have a teaching credential in math, computer concepts in education, general science, art and in career technical education. Over the years I have taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Computer Science, Electronics, and Engineering Design which centers around computer aided design (CAD). I have taught using Autodesk Inventor Professional, but most recently using Onshape a web based CAD system. Because of COVID, I have been using the best practices of distance learning and integrating Everfi courses into all of my classes. I am the coordinator of our STEAM Engineering Academy and help to support a number of after school and extracurricular programs. I support a robotics program called Botball which is NASA sponsored competition where the not only do the students build robots, but they have to code them in a C programing language, and develop a strategy to maximize the number of points scored. The robots work autonomously and the game is a game of strategy, rather than brute force or remote control as found in First Robotics. I also support other staff that run a hydrogen powered R/C car competition sponsored by Toyota, and a solar suitcase club that builds portable solar charging stations that we donate and ship the kits to third world countries that are energy poor. The kits provide power to recharge cell phones, and enough lighting at night that students can do their homework. I also help support the MESA (Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement) program which gives our students the ability to do some exciting regional competitions such as bridge building, gliders challenges, and more at San Jose State University. The ability to support all these programs is because the students and teachers belong to our STEAM Engineering Academy which is a California Partnership Academy.
Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?
Brent Burns is my favorite NHL player because of his hockey skills, his determination, and how well he in works together with his teammates. Off the ice, his dedication to his family, his love of animals and his support of the military make him a great role model in the community.
What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?
My favorite part of the Future Goals program is that it uses hockey to explain both math and science concepts to students who might not have paid attention to these concepts in their typical science class. It reinforces these concepts outside of the science class. In particular, it explains the conservation of energy by showing video clips of potential energy being converted to kinetic energy of the puck moving on the ice. The use of hockey to explain science helps to make science “cool”.
If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?
If I played, I would want to play a left wing position because I am left handed.