Local Teacher Awarded by Engineering Group

Courtesy EAA Nea’s award-winning all-girl EAA bridge competition team consisted of Fallon Funseth, Morgan Rawson and Malia Robillard.

 

Alameda’s Nea Community Learning Center (Nea) announced recently that one of their teachers, Daniel Pasker, was named Teacher of the Year by the Engineers Alliance for the Arts (EAA). EAA is a non-profit organization that brings professional engineers into high school classrooms to teach a course in structural engineering that culminates in a San Francisco Bay Area-wide student bridge building competition at the PG&E auditorium in San Francisco.

EAA brought its Student Impact Project to Nea more than five years ago, and Pasker has been welcoming volunteer engineers into his classrooms for the last three years. His teams have won multiple awards at EAA’s Bridge Showcase and Competition, which in the past have included the President’s Award and Best in Class. This year an all-girl team placed second overall.

“The EAA Board has unanimously chosen Daniel to receive the 2016 Teacher of the Year award in recognition of his contributions to EAA, enthusiasm for the program, and work in providing hands-on, project-based learning opportunities for his students,” said Patrick Murren, EAA’s Vice President of the Student Impact Project.

In his acceptance speech, Pasker thanked engineers Kellen O’Connor of O.co, Sandra Jung of Cushing and Associates and Brylle Cabucungan of KPW Structural Engineers who worked in the classroom with his students. These volunteers donated their time to work in Pasker’s classroom to instruct and mentor students for 10 weeks. 

“They have been an amazing team to work with and have inspired my students to strive for excellence,” said Pasker. “We all have someone who gave us that spark, to open up our eyes to new possibilities. Having these professionals in the classroom working with our learners gives them an idea of what they might be able to become and possibly ignite that spark.”

The award was presented at the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California’s November meeting in downtown San Francisco.