San Jose, CA: Metropolitan Education District is proud to recognize its 2018-19 Teacher of the Year, Jim Burnham, a Mechatronics Engineering instructor at Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE).
Teaching high school had always “noodled” in his head and in 2016, after 25 years in the high tech field, Jim made the jump to teaching high school students. He first taught a year of Cybersecurity courses, and then in 2017, started a Mechatronics Engineering program at SVCTE. Jim has taught summer STEAM academies, youth technology workshops, and after school Robotics Clubs. Aside from his ability to inspire students at our school site, Jim eagerly takes on the leadership of numerous academic events where he can showcase his course and his wealth of engineering knowledge with other audiences.
Jim not only brings the theoretical and practical aspects of Mechatronics to students, through the marriage between electronic engineering and creation of robotic entities, but also brings forth Next Generation Science Standards and 21st century skills through his Flex Factor collaboration. Flex Factor is a program that introduces high school students to the world of flexible hybrid electronics and advanced manufacturing through a six week engineering project. Students research and develop an innovative technological piece that can provide a solution to a real world problem. These students utilize the eight science and engineering practices, critical thinking, technology literacy (coding), flexibility, leadership, and most importantly communication.
Alyssa Lynch, Superintendent at MetroED, stated, “Every time I bring guests into Jim Burnham’s classroom, he animatedly showcases his programs and all the projects he is working on with his students. He radiates excitement in being able to introduce students to a pathway that could lead them to want to become engineers or explore other careers in the sciences .”
In 2018 Jim traveled to Taiwan where he visited two different STEM based school sites and was invited to be the keynote speaker at a Mobile Learning Conference. His passion for the industry, enthusiasm for teaching, and his overall appreciation for STEM academia awarded him another invitation to speak in Taiwan. Jim graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s of science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education will recognize Jim at the 50th Annual Teacher Recognition Celebration on October 3, 2019, at the Campbell Heritage Theatre. The Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California and the most prestigious local award given to classroom teachers. The Teacher Recognition Program is celebrated with these objectives in mind:
to increase public awareness of the efforts and contributions of teachers and their role in helping our youth to succeed in the world;
to show appreciation for their many fine educational achievements;
to acknowledge the many years of training that teachers undertake
to prepare for and stay current in their profession; and
to strengthen ties between students and teachers, and bring about a greater understanding between generations.
About Metropolitan Education District: MetroED provides Career Technical Education and academic programs to over 2,600 high school and adult students in Santa Clara County. From its campus located centrally in San Jose, California, the district operates Silicon Valley Career Technical Education and Silicon Valley Adult Education. Register for a free campus tour or get more information at: www.metroed.net
This article was written by Alyssa Lynch, Superintendent at Metropolitan Education District, which operates Silicon Valley Career Technical Education and Silicon Valley Adult Education. She has been a critical voice for Career Technical Education for 25 years.
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