On this #TeacherTuesday, we salute an influential group of teachers who truly look to the future through the Engineering Academy they created within North Penn High School in Lansdale. The five members of the team, Michael Boyer, William Michael, Michael Voicheck, William Waddington and Curt Reichwein (shown below), are part of the larger Technology and Engineering Education Department. Together, they provide an intensive pre-college experience for between 150 and 200 students annually. In this five-course rigorous sequence, students study engineering principles, design, computer integrated manufacturing, and digital electronics, and have the opportunity to earn college credits. In their final course, students research and develop solutions to global issues by capitalizing on the fundamentals of nanotechnology and materials science.
Mike Boyer founded “The Future is N.E.A.R.” (Nanotechnology Education and Research) in 2005-2006 after three years of summer study at Drexel University and applying for grant funding from many companies and organizations. The era of standardized testing squelched experiential learning, he says, so he’s especially happy to tell students to “Fail often to succeed sooner.” North Penn High School was the first school in Pennsylvania to be certified as a Project Lead the Way School.
The program includes 3D printing, laser cutting and engraving, large format milling, nanotechnology and much more. This all leads to the annual STEM Symposium where seniors present their nanotechnology research to the community and are often told by Penn and Drexel professors that it is on par with that of graduate students.
Congrats to this wonderful group of educators whose commitment to innovation education is preparing students for 21st century careers in engineering and beyond.
(The five members of the team, Michael Boyer, William Michael, Michael Voicheck, William Waddington and Curt Reichwein shown above)