GHS teachers and STEM program recognized by MassTEC


GHS science and engineering teacher Kurt Lichtenwald

KATELYN MOORE, Staff Writer, Editor

The Massachusetts Technology Education and Engineering Collaborative and its members have awarded Gloucester High School’s science and engineering teacher, Kurt Lichtenwald, with the 2016 “teacher of the year” award.

Along with his award, MassTEC deemed GHS’ STEM program, run by Lichtenwald, John Barry, and David Schneider, the 2016 “program of the year.”  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Each year, MassTEC partners with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and chooses from schools across the state to recognize one program and teacher that excels in educating students about formal technology and engineering studies.

“We have a mission statement which says we want to prepare our students to compete at the college level and to give them a step up on their peers,” said Lichtenwald.

According to Lichtenwald, the program is unique because most schools only offer one engineering course with one teacher certified in engineering and technology. At GHS, there are three teachers certified with seven classes offered.

“I am proud to have him as a contributing member in our department,” said program leader and Biology teacher Rachel Rex. “Congrats to the team of teachers.”

With many different electives offered, the student-driven engineering classes experience inquiry based learning while they work on their projects.

“It’s amazing that we actually do this with a budget of $1000,” said Lichtenwald. “If it wasn’t for the Gloucester Education Foundation, former students giving back, and parents of current students, we would not be able to fund the program at this competitive level.”