Spotlights
Tech Council of Maryland Honors Eastern Tech Teacher for STEM Advancement
06/05/13

Spotlights
Students working in the STEM Center Michocki helped create at Eastern Technical High School.

For teacher Thomas Michocki, STEM isn’t just a buzzword.

As the science chair at Eastern Technical High School, Michocki has made a mission out of sharing his passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with students. Whether he’s teaching AP chemistry, sponsoring the Science National Honor Society, assisting students with independent research or coordinating the school’s social media efforts, Michocki weaves STEM into nearly all of his interactions at school. And he doesn’t stop there.

Looking for ways to help students continue their STEM studies outside of the classroom, this year Michocki developed two programs that are making the subjects more accessible to Eastern Tech students: a STEM Center open to students before and after school to facilitate peer tutoring and independent exploration; and a Night Labs program to allow chemistry students to work on lab activities that can’t be completed during the school day. Michocki says the programs enable students to engage with the STEM disciplines in a way that naturally combines investigation and inquiry.

“It’s a place for students to get extra help, prepare for exams and work on STEM competitions—in other words, stretch their learning,” Michocki said. “Students use the STEM Center a lot and are appreciative of the facility.”

Students aren’t the only ones taking note of Michocki’s work. Earlier this month, the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) named Michocki its 2013 STEM Educator of the Year for his commitment to developing future leaders in the technology and biosciences industries. Michocki was selected to receive the award from among 5 finalists noted for their enthusiasm for teaching and promoting student learning of STEM subjects, encouragement of independent learning and the development of critical thinking skills, command of subject matter, imaginative presentation of subject matter and emphasis on student engagement in the classroom.

Michocki received the award at the 25th Annual TCM Dinner and Awards Celebration held May 16, 2013 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. A 19-year educator with Baltimore County Public Schools, he says it’s nice to be recognized, but his true satisfaction comes from working with students.

“I am truly honored to receive the TCM award, but my biggest accomplishment over the past year was establishing the STEM Center and seeing students use it day in and day out,” Michocki said.

The Tech Council of Maryland is the largest technology trade group serving the advanced technology and biotechnology communities of Maryland. TCM’s mission is to advocate for the interests of the technology community, further the role of technology in the Maryland economy, and nurture an environment where technology companies can collaborate, grow and succeed. For more information, visit www.techcouncilmd.com.

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