In addition to his work in the classroom, Brookwood Grade 8 Science teacher Rich Lehrer heads up an initiative called the eNABLE Educators’ Exchange which has been awarded a $5,000 STEM Innovation Award from the prestigious Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF).
The Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s STEM Innovation Awards are given in recognition of pioneering organizations and programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. The award honors programs committed to elevating STEM education and to setting new benchmarks for innovation in integrating STEM disciplines.
Organized by Rochester Institute of Technology professor Jon Schull, e-NABLE is a global network of volunteers who use 3-D printers and open-source models to create affordable prosthetic hands for those in need. As greater numbers of educators contacted eNABLE about participating in the effort with their students, the eNABLE Educators' Exchange was proposed and Lehrer was brought on to head-up the initiative because of his work at Brookwood around this movement. The goals of e3STEAM are:
• To provide an opportunity for a global community of like-minded educators who will collaborate with each other and share e-NABLE inspired ideas, experiences, curriculum, and best practices through online discussions and an open-source file repository.
• To provide an opportunity for young people to become involved in the e3STEAM and e-NABLE community, thus providing them with an inspirational 21st century model of the power of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, service, and technology.
• To empower young people to become agents of positive change in their own lives and in local and global communities by virtue of their involvement in the building and receiving of 3D printed hands.
• To assist informal and formal education organizations in the creation of 3D printed hands and devices and to get them to those who need them.
As the Coordinator of this initiative, Rich will accept this honor on behalf of eNABLE at SVEF's annual Pioneers & Purpose event in November at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Key thought leaders in STEM education have been the recipients of STEM Innovation Awards over the years and have expanded the reach and impact of their programs as a result.
According to the SVEF website, The “Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) is a nonprofit resource and advocate for students and educators. We drive scholastic achievement in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by combining resources and partnerships to provide innovative academic programs.”