Mike Wilson is an engineering teacher at McLane Middle School.
The reason I chose to work at this Achievement School is because there are no boundaries. Whether you’re a boy or girl, black, white or Hispanic, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) offers a huge variety of opportunities to our students and makes working here an enjoyable challenge.
Some students have issues in their lives that affect their education, so the challenge is to take them out of that world and put them into an education world, where they see and feel the power of education that will take them to their next level.
I’m just like my students. Growing up, I had a really hard time with math and science. I didn’t like those subjects, and I never had anyone explain to me why we were learning about those different concepts.
What I do with STEM is carry over the connections between science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities, so that students have a better understanding about how these concepts apply to their lives – today and tomorrow. Then, education becomes more fun, more of a challenge for them on the positive side.
One spectacular part about this program is our robotics team. Over the last 10 years, it’s been comprised of mostly girls, and a lot of them have come back and helped mentor younger students so they can follow in their footsteps. They see the success of their peers and it drives them to go for more, do more, explore more outside of what they’re normally used to.
I feel like I’m making a difference, and I can see it in our former students who graduated from high school. It’s really rewarding to run into one of my former students, like at the hospital and they are a nurse, or when they just graduated from an engineering school.
To hear that “thank you,” it means a lot. It keeps me going, and that’s why I’m here.
This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.
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