Naveen has been teaching science, engineering and, most recently, robotics at the intermediate and middle school level for 31 years. His background in earth and space science coupled with a strong interest in incorporating technology in the classroom has resulted in an award winning STEM Academy in his district. His experience as a Presidential Awardee and an Einstein Fellow provided a great springboard into developing the program that provides his students with many options and opportunities for years to come.
As my wife and I began raising our own family, I witnessed firsthand the importance of experiential learning. The lenses I wore as a teacher focused on the programs I designed, the options it provided my students, the opportunities it made available. My degrees in Geology, Educational Technology, and further personal study and training in the Earth and Space Sciences provided a solid foundation upon which to build courses and programs on. Combining this with a knowledge and understanding of our state curriculum, my students learned concepts through examples present in their world around them. They discovered simple machines at work on their campus and home. They studied the effects of pollution in a neighboring lake using underwater robots. They brainstormed ideas to combat the devastation caused by the Corn Earworm while learning about life cycles.
Making connections and communicating with industry professionals, representatives from higher education, and entrants at competitions at different levels diversify their thinking and reach. It helps students develop and participate in communities of like minded learners.
Relevance, experiential learning, and communication truly inserts learners into the role of scientist making an impact in the world around them.