As another school year ends, a new set of Onshape Educator Award recipients is announced!

This is the second annual Onshape Educator Awards, which was launched in 2021 as a chance to recognize and celebrate individuals who exemplify what it takes to inspire students from all backgrounds and skill levels.

Peers, colleagues, friends and students sent in their stories of exemplary educators this year who have spent hours teaching students how to bring their ideas to life using Onshape. Although the Onshape Education team was inundated with brilliant examples of teaching, there could only be two winners, one K-12 and one university educator.

So without further ado, here are this year’s winners.

K-12 Educator of the Year Winner

Mike Schmidt, University High School, Tucson, Arizona

A “jack-of-all-trades,” according to the University of Arizona, Mr. Schmidt teaches a dual-enrollment program at University High School. Students taking his engineering class will earn credit for the university’s Intro to Engineering course.

But Mr. Schmidt’s dedication to STEM goes beyond the classroom. For example, he sponsors the 3D modeling and printing club and spent hours transforming an old computer lab into a makerspace for students. Many of his projects are centered on designing a solution that addresses challenges around campus.

When he was able to get 3D printers for the makerspace, Mr. Schmidt needed a CAD system to teach students how to design. He chose Onshape and within a month, Mr. Schmidt designed a bio-mimetic hand that he uses to wave at students, highlighting what can be done with CAD and engineering skills.

Here are a few testimonials from students and colleagues who nominated Mr. Schmidt:

  • His teaching style is enthusiastic and he encourages students to explore their interests using the tools and other equipment he’s collected in his makerspace classroom. He spends hours every weekend at school improving the class for his students and slowly building out the classroom by adding tools and capabilities.

  • His altruistic use of [Onshape] has allowed him to improve many things around his classroom, as well as around the school. For example, he designed mounts for pegboards around his classroom to hold up various tools and whatnot.

  • This immense creativity that Mr. Schmidt is able to unlock in his class is impressive. He provides laptops for students who don’t have their own and gives instruction videos that are engaging and helpful to the students.

  • Mr. Schmidt instructs students to design 3D projects to help other teachers around the school, calling it “Meeting a Customer’s Wants and Needs.”

University Educator of the Year Winner

Pamela Dickrell, Associate Chair, Engineer, and Instructional Professor, Department of  Engineering Education, College of Engineering, University of Florida

Dr. Dickrell was nominated for this year’s award for her ability to inspire students and help them move past their doubts (something many engineering majors understand).

Dr. Dickrell teaches the course Engineering Design & Society at the University of Florida, is a club sponsor for the 3D Printing Club and engages students with challenging projects as well as more lighthearted ones, including an annual pumpkin design contest for Halloween.

Here are a few testimonials from students and colleagues who nominated Dr. Dickrell:

  • Not only did taking her class completely transform my view of engineering, but she also made me believe in myself and have confidence in my abilities.

  • Her class truly solidified my love for the world of 3D printing, and throughout the summer I used the tools and resources she had provided to start an Etsy shop where the proceeds went to charities involved with social justice.

Educators in STEM

These educators were able to make an impact on the lives of their students and communities through exemplary work. We are grateful for their above-and-beyond dedication to STEM education and their students.

Award recipients will be given prizes including iPads, 3D printers, Onshape swag and Onshape Certification exam vouchers – not to mention loads of appreciation.

The Onshape Education team continues to celebrate the educators and students who make an impact on those around them. Check out their stories on the Onshape Blog

Are you inspired to try out Onshape? Learn how you can bring cloud-native CAD into your classroom.

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