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I've been teaching science classes (including Comprehensive Science, Physics, Astronomy, and Earth Science) in Palm Beach County, Florida at the middle and high school level for two decades. And I volunteer for NASA, offering teacher training and classroom activities highlighting NASA missions of discovery and exploration. I was awarded the Palm Beach County School District Science Teacher of the Year for 2002-03, received a RadioShack National Teacher Award in 2004, and won the SECME National Teacher of the Year in 2010, and The Engineering Council’s Outstanding STEM Educator Award in 2014. Before entering the classroom, I was planetarium director at the South Florida Science Museum, and at the Savannah Science Museum in Georgia. My students over the years have become national competitors in rockets (SECME & Team America Rocketry Challenge) and robots (VEX & FIRST Robotics World Championship). They earn it as they learn it! Personally, I'm married to my DW Heather for 20+ years, and we are proud parents of our daughter Lily. Lily and I are a black belts in taekwondo and enjoy off-road mountain bike riding.
Strategic Instruction Model™ (SIM)
SIM is a research-validated literacy program from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Content Enhancement is an instructional method that uses powerful teaching devices to organize and present course information so that all students can understand and remember. Teachers use SIM Routines to transform abstract main ideas and key topics into a concrete representation that helps students think about and talk about the key topic and essential related information. SIM is about promoting effective teaching and learning of critical content in schools. SIM strives to help teachers make decisions about what is of greatest importance, what we can teach students to help them to learn, and how to teach them well.
- Think about and organize content
- Explore text, topics, and details
- Teach complex concepts
- Help students complete their work
Kagan Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning is a type of structured peer interaction emphasizing collaboration between peers, active learning, academic achievement, positive human relationships, equal participation and equal status of students in the classroom. Students can work together by following the steps to the structure, using material or content selected by the students themselves or by the teacher. The structures have various aims, such as: building team spirit and positive relationships among students; information sharing; critical thinking; communication skills; and mastery (learning/remembering) of specified material. Many of the structures can fulfill a number of aims simultaneously, depending on how the teacher uses them. Structures can be mixed and matched, and adapted to the particular student group.
2018 William T. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education, finalist
2014 The Engineering Council Outstanding STEM K-12 Educator Award. With this award, the Engineers’ Council recognizes individuals who are outstanding in professional qualities and have a top reputation for engineering education, mentorship and leadership. Candidates contribute significantly to students’ academic and extracurricular engineering fulfillment and enrichment.
2010 SECME National Teacher of Year. The award recognizes an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and innovative K-12 educator, with have proven leadership ability in advancing student development and outcomes in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and demonstrate commitment to the SECME program and mission.
2009-2010 SECME County Coordinator of the Year (high school level), for exceptional SECME program coordination in Palm Beach County (at Seminole Ridge High)
April 2008 – nominated for an American Stars of Teaching award. The U.S. Department of Education seeks nominations for its annual American Stars of Teaching project, which recognizes and honors superior teachers with a track record of improving student achievement, using innovative instructional strategies, and making a difference in the lives of their students.
2006-2007 SECME County Coordinator of the Year for exceptional SECME program coordination in Palm Beach County (at Boynton Beach High) at the high school level.
2002-2003 Science Teacher of the Year School District of Palm Beach County
2004 Radio Shack National Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Sept. 1987 - Dec. 1991
Wagner College, New York, NY – Bachelor of Arts, English & Physics
Academic Honors: Dean's List 1989, 1991
Sept. 2002 Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL Continuing education
When we remember the sinking of the HMS Titanic, one question has often been overlooked: for a ship heading into New York City, why was an iceberg in it's path? Why wasn’t the iceberg deflected or dissolved by warm water well before the collision?
Florida science teacher Erich Landstrom has created a classroom investigation on how the Gulf Stream current is responsible for the wreck of the ill-fated ocean liner. The NSTA News Story is available HERE at http://bit.ly/Hl1AjS
The sinking of the ocean liner Titanic 100 years ago is perhaps the most famous–and most studied–disaster of the 20th century. Countless books and movies have examined in great detail the actions, choices and mistakes that led to the Titanic colliding with an iceberg the night of April 14, 1912, and sinking within hours, with approximately 1,500 people losing their lives in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
Specialty, Math, Algebra, Fractions, Geometry, Graphing, Measurement, Trigonometry, Other (Math), Science, Anatomy, Archaeology, Astronomy, Basic Principles, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Environment, Physics, Other (Science), Social Studies - History, Civics, U.S. History, World History, Computer Science - Technology, Health, Economics (University), Physics, Geography, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Classroom Management, Character Education, General Science, Physical Science, Meteorology, Oral Communication, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Autumn, Halloween, Winter, The New Year, Valentine's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Black History Month, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, For All Subjects, Test Preparation, End of Year, Engineering, Classroom Community