Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Galt teacher Debra Crane honored for engineering program

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:00 am

Nearly a decade ago, Debra Crane heard about a unique national program aimed at getting high schoolers excited about engineering careers.

"I want students to be exposed to a variety of adventures in the hope that something will capture their interest and become a lifelong passion," she said.

For this, Crane has received special recognition from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation and 3M for her outstanding efforts in inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

She is one of only 10 Project Lead the Way teachers from around the country to receive this recognition.

"It is pretty cool, just to be recognized for something you do every day," said Crane, who lives in Herald. "You realize someone's noticing."

Among the prizes for the "Building the Future" award is $1,000 cash. The teacher will also travel to Texas next month to be formally recognized by the foundation.

Galt High School, too, will receive a new interactive classroom whiteboard and digital projector.

"It is a great honor to have one of our teachers recognized this way," Principal Charles Howell said. "Not only was Debra Crane honored, (but) Project Lead the Way has given us scholarship funds for students to join her at the awards conference in Texas. We are very honored to have our students honored as well."

D.J. Sinkes, Matt Hunt and Jon Rogers will accompany their teacher next month.

Crane, who founded Galt's program in 2001 with only 75 students, currently teaches introduction to engineering, digital electronics, computer integrated manufacturing, and civil engineering and architecture to all grade levels. Today, there are close to 150 students enrolled between Galt High and Liberty Ranch High schools.

She said she feels she has made a difference in getting high schoolers excited about engineering programs.

"We now have quite a few going on (in college engineering programs)," said Crane, whose husband, Roger, teaches engineering at Bear Creek High School in Stockton.

"We had several end up in the Cal Poly program, which is one of the hardest. We've even had kids who have graduated and work in engineering now. Some have come back and said they wouldn't have thought about the career had they not come through the program," said Crane.

Before becoming a teacher, Crane worked in the architecture industry for 13 years. She heard about Project Lead the Way at a teacher consortium in the early days of her 11-year career at Galt High.

At the time, a drafting teacher was lobbying for a computer lab at the school, and the school needed the reassurance that it was going to be used for more than making floor plans, she said in an earlier interview.

Nomination criteria

The criteria for being nominated for a Building the Future Award is based on:
— High degree of involvement with the Project Lead the Way program.
— Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide a model of excellence for the profession.
— Engaging presence that inspires and motivates students.
— Exceptional instructional practices as demonstrated by increased student learning.
— Demonstrating professional leadership.
Winners are chosen by a panel of distinguished national education and business leaders, coordinated by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, which evaulate nominations and selected the Building the Future.
Source: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation

Project Lead the Way seemed just the right fit. Howell is excited to continue the program's growth. In the spring, the school plans to begin a construction project to turn four classrooms into a 2,000-square-foot engineering/prototype lab. It will be paid for with a $900,000 grant from the state.

"We are looking forward to even more recognition and awards from this program as students continue to stretch the limits of engineering and design," Howell said.

By honoring outstanding educators, the "Building the Future Awards" program strives to attract, motivate and reward the achievements of talented educators.

"We believe that it is important to recognize the valuable work these educators are doing," executive director Bart Aslin said in a written statement.

"By educating today's youth, they are truly 'Building the Future' for tomorrow's leaders and a vibrant workforce. Our children need role models like Debra Crane — teachers who are dedicated to showing youth the rewards of technology and science."

Project Lead the Way, a New York-based non-profit, engages U.S. students by training middle and high school teachers to create hands-on, project-based curriculum that prepares students for academic and professional success in math and engineering fields.

The teachers, who are required to complete an intensive two-week summer training program in order to teach the courses, emphasize creativity and context-based learning so that kids don't just see "math" and "science," but instead understand how to apply math and science to real-life problems and innovations.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • posted at 10:59 am on Mon, Oct 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    Way to go Debra! What a great program.

     
  • posted at 5:32 am on Sun, Oct 25, 2009.

    Posts:

    Debra is fantastic, she is the reason my daughter is at UC San Diego in the Engineering program there. Her dedication to students is a model for all teachers. She inspires. thank you.

     
  • posted at 7:30 am on Sat, Oct 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Thank you Debra...I remember the day you started and with the enthusiasm you showed it has more than thrillpled in in your successes. The kids and you are amazing!! Keep up the good work!!!!

     

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 69

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists