Gilbert AZ teacher receives SME Education Foundation/3M “Building the Future Award”

October 20, 2009

By hammersmith

SME Education Foundation and 3M Honor Educators with Building the Future Award

Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Release date: October 13, 2009

DEARBORN, Mich., October 13, 2009 – The accomplishments of ten outstanding educators from across the United States have been recognized with the “Building the Future Award” by the SME Education Foundation and their industry partner, 3M for their efforts in furthering excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education based on Project Lead The Way® curriculum and inspiring students to pursue technical careers. The awards will be presented on November 12, 2009 at the Building the Future Awards dinner in Austin, Texas at the Second Annual Project Lead the Way® National Symposium.

By honoring outstanding individuals, the “Building the Future Awards” program strives to attract, motivate and reward the achievements of talented educators. Winners will receive a $1,000 from the SME Education Foundation and 3M will donate one of its interactive whiteboard-presentation systems for each instructor’s classroom.

Project Lead The Way® (PLTW), a nonprofit organization, promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. Award criteria selection is based on recipients having worked with PLTW curriculum which includes hands-on activities, field trips and group projects. These educators were also judged on exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom being a model of excellence for the profession, having an engaging presence that inspires and motivates students, exceptional instructional practices demonstrated by increased student learning, and professional leadership.

“We’re pleased to honor these educators because they have shown extraordinary commitment in making sure their students are highly involved and excited about the possibilities of a technology-based career,” says Bart Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation.

Building the Future Awards winners are:

Arizona: Sylvia Grace, Desert Ridge High School, Gilbert Public Schools, Mesa, Ariz., California: Debra Crane, Galt High School, Galt Calif., Minnesota: Shabaka McKey, Henry High School, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis, Minn., Jo Hendrickson, Shakopee Junior High School, Shakopee, Minn., North Carolina: Leslie Snyder Eaves, School of Pre-Engineering at Atkins, Winston-Salem, N.C.; New York: Michael Gallagher, Saratoga Springs High School, Saratoga Springs, N.Y; Ohio: Tom Bratten, Canton South High School, Canton, Ohio; South Carolina: Wanda Staggers, Hanna-Westside Extension Campus, Anderson, S.C; Texas: Barbara Kubinski, Nichols Junior High School, Arlington, Texas and Juan Flores, Vista Ridge High School, Cedar Park, Texas.

About 3M: 3M is a $25 billion diversified technology-based company with leading positions in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, health care, safety, and other markets. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., the company has operations in nearly 200 countries. 3M Community Giving consists of product donations and cash grants by 3M and the 3M Foundation and bolstered by employee and retiree volunteerism. In 2008, 3M and the 3M Foundation donated more than $48 million in cash and products to U.S. educational and charitable institutions. Learn more abut 3M at

About Project Lead the Way®: Project Lead The Way® is a national 501c3, not-for-profit educational program that helps give middle and high school students the rigorous ground-level education they need to develop strong backgrounds in science and engineering. For more information, please visit:

About the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation – created in 1979, is dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing education and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists. Thanks to the generosity of its partners including corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors, the Foundation has awarded more than $29 million since 1980 in awards, scholarships and youth programs. For more information visit and our award-winning web site designed for young people – Manufacturing is Cool!.com

Note to Media: For local award and bio information contact Lisa Cohen via email at