Devin McKinnon, a technology education teacher at New Berlin Eisenhower, received the highest honor given to Project Lead the Way teachers – PLTW Outstanding Teacher – at the PLTW national conference.
“We are proud of Ms. McKinnon for earning this incredible honor, but also for being an incredible teacher who not only gets the best out of her students, but also sets them up for future success,” Superintendent Joe Garza said. “The work she does with the PLTW Gateway students opens their eyes to new possibilities and often boosts their interest in our PLTW engineering, biomedical and
computer science offerings.”
PLTW Outstanding Teachers and PLTW Outstanding Educational Leaders are selected through a competitive nomination and selection process for their focus on empowering students to thrive in this evolving world. They have demonstrated a strong record of the following:
- Delivery of an inspiring and empowering student experience in the classroom; this includes success implementing high-quality PLTW programs and inspiring students to apply learning beyond the classroom.
- Expanded access to career learning for students in the school and community.
- Teacher leadership within the classroom, school, or district, using innovative methods to engage students in activity-, project-, problem-based learning, and active pursuit of professional and personal development.
PLTW recognized more than 40 other educators as PLTW Outstanding Teachers for their commitment to empowering students to thrive in our evolving world.
“We are grateful to our teachers for their commitment to inspiring and empowering their students with the knowledge and transportable skills needed to thrive in our ever-changing world,” said PLTW Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer David Greer. “The PLTW Outstanding Teachers are leaders in their classrooms and are inspiring the next generation of innovators. Ms. McKinnon is a model PTLW teacher.”
McKinnon teaches the PLTW Gateway course, designed for students in grades 6-8, a time when they are figuring out what they are passionate about today and how that relates to who they’ll become tomorrow. Tackling pressing challenges like designing tires for a moon rover, cleaning up an oil spill, or solving a fictional crime, students learn to test their limits and question what is possible. And by challenging themselves to rework and refine their projects, PLTW Gateway students learn that both failure and persistence are key to learning and innovation.
“Ms. McKinnon is an amazing teacher that helped me think more about what to do in the future, and she opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, designing, and building prototypes that I could have never built before,” said Eisenhower student Ava Pankowski. “When I am in Mrs. McKinnon's classroom, the methods she uses to engage students are unique in allowing students to grow and
develop more skills.”
PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 11,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs.