Meet Dr. Andre Peltier from Chesapeake, VirginiaAs a teacher at the Portsmouth Public Schools in Portsmouth, Virginia, Andre Peltier’s mission is to prepare his students to excel in a global society through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (the STEM Program). André, who has a doctorate in biochemistry, requested $6,000 to purchase sixteen NXT Robotics Kits and accessories to help instill in his students a love of science. The course is modeled after “CSI” and gives students opportunities for hands-on exploration.
Raised in a “not so great” area of Brooklyn, André says he understands what it takes to reach the large number of urban children at Churchland Middle School in Portsmouth, Virginia where he teaches 8th grade. By creating an environment of curiosity, Dr. Peltier hopes to encourage minority children and girls to pursue careers in the sciences.
Diary Starts Here
January 9, 2009
I spoke to Andre recently and he told me that he is training about 20 teachers from other middle schools to build and program robots as a way to extend his program to hundreds more students. Andre is very excited to see students realize exciting career opportunities in the sciences they might never have dreamed of in the past. He says it forces them to think in different ways as they take on the roles of doctors doing robotic surgery. Now they say, "Maybe I want to go into this field." They now realize they can have many career options by pursuing the sciences. Andre says he tells them if they make it to the White House, to take Andre with them! These are some lucky students. Kudos to Dr. Peltier.
October 15 , 2008
The NXT robots have arrived and Andre's students, now taking on the role of robotic surgeons, are building their robots.
October 3 , 2008
What an interesting man Andre is! Last Saturday he was kick boxing and he spent Sunday doing Kendo (Sword fighting with the entire gear). During the week he may swim 2 miles, bike over 20 miles, and he still runs from time to time. His boys generally join him when he works out. Oh, and his background is that he holds two black belts in different styles of martial arts! Wow!! That's AWESOME !!
September 25, 2008
I placed a surprise call to André today to let him know he was getting his grant. I always hope that it’s a real surprise and that no one lets it slip, and this time I know for sure that no one told the recipient because he was speechless! But it was fun and André told me how much more they could do with the new robots. The call was set up by school principal Dr. Kurt Kreassig and Laura Nelson, the Director of Science Education. Some of André’s students were in the room as well as fellow teachers and it was great to hear their joy in hearing the news of the grant.
André told me it was Laura who spearheaded the project and that with robotics, they hope to open kids’ eyes to the many different fields they could go into after high school, like electrical, ocean, military, even robotic surgery. Oh, and then there’s gaming, too. I’m betting that nobody every falls asleep in this class!
9/25/08: Jenny & Damon wrote... "Congratulations on becoming a part of our special Teachers' Month and for creating exciting opportunities for the future of your students."