On March 26, 2020, The Dee Howard Foundation announced The Dee Howard Foundation STEM Education Excellence Award (SEEA) to recognize Pre-K thru 12 STEM teachers and administrators and to help incorporate aviation and aerospace subject matter in STEM programs primality focused on underserved students in the San Antonio Area.
The SEEA was presented at the San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame 2020 Awards Dinner on March 26, 2020.
The Dee Howard Foundation is an organization dedicated to fostering aviation and aerospace in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) in Pre-K through 12 education programs, primarily in schools in the greater San Antonio area whose students are from underserved areas of our community. This year, we have expanded eligibility. Schools of any level (elementary/middle/secondary) with high-need students in Bexar County are eligible to submit nominations for the 2020 SEEA.
In the spirit of supporting those on the “front lines” of S.T.E.M. education, we request your assistance in distributing this letter and the other information we will forward to you concerning the SEEA to the principal of each school in your district that meets the criteria below. The principal of each qualifying school may submit one nomination for the 2020 SEEA. The nominee must:
Should a nominee from your school district be selected by The Dee Howard Foundation (DHF) as this year’s Honoree, the Honoree, the Honoree’s school, and your school district will receive the following benefits:
To nominate an educator, the principal of the school should complete the attached nomination form, and compile a formal letter of recommendation on official school letterhead, then return the package to the following:
The Honoree will be presented with a framed certificate during the 2019 Hall of Fame Awards Dinner;
Dr. W. Sean Kearney, Chair, SEEA Selection Committee, via email.
Nominations must be received by December 1, 2019, to be eligible for the award. If you have any questions concerning the event, the SEEA, or the nomination process, please email or call Sean Kearney at (210) 784-2528.
We thank you and all of the members of the team in your school district for the great work you are doing to provide the young men and women in our community with the confidence and skills to be successful in an increasingly technological world. We look forward to receiving nominations from the principals of qualifying schools in your district and to providing well-deserved recognition to S.T.E.M. educators in the greater San Antonio area.
W. Sean Kearney
Chair, SEEA Selection Committee
Colin Lang is a teacher, mentor, and coach. He is in his fourteenth year at Alamo Heights High School (AHHS) where he is the teacher of (Systems Go) Aerospace Studies program, an innovative, project-based education program that he implemented at AHHS from the ground up. It began with launching little rockets that would go about 200 ft in the air. His students now work with NASA to build rockets that go up to 100,000 ft. To date, they have reached 37,000 ft. This can only be done at the White Sands Missile Range. In addition to his leadership of the Alamo Heights Rocketry Program, Colin is the founder and Head Coach of the Alamo Heights High School Rugby Team.
Before joining the faculty at AHHS, Colin taught for one year at the KIPP Aspire Academy and for eight years at Zachary Middle School as the eighth-grade lead science teacher.
Colin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Kinesiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and, more recently, a Master of Education degree in Integrated Physics and Chemistry from Our Lady of the Lake University, graduating Magna Cum Laude from both schools. Mr. Lang holds certifications to teach Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and IPC. He is also a certified coach, having coached football, rugby, hockey, wrestling, MMA, basketball, track, and volleyball.
Colin has served as a mentor to new teachers, a coach, and a presenter at science and technology conferences as well as the lead trainer and instructor for the SystemsGo program. Mr. Lang has received several awards, including First Year Teacher of the Year (NISD), Spotlight on Excellence Award (AHISD), Texas High School Rugby Coach of the Year and was a finalist in the HEB Excellence in Education and Trinity Prize. He believes that learning should be fun and experienced in a real-life context. The Rocketry program at Alamo Heights is a perfect example of how project-based education through problem-solving in a real-world setting can change students’ lives. One of those students said of Mr. Lang "During my four years in the rocketry program, Mr. Lang has taught me how to use the NASA research and design process, create technical drawings using CAD software, design and build a seven-foot-long rocket that went the speed of sound, and use tools that would be found in any industry machine shop like a welder and lathe. These opportunities don’t often come to high-school students, and I can say with complete certainty that I have never had a teacher who has been willing to put more trust, respect, and time into my education than Mr. Lang. He is not only an excellent educator but also a role model for everyone he teaches and an example of the engineer I hope to become in the future."
Morgan S. Lund, M.E. is a teacher, mentor and sponsor at Engineering & Technologies Academy at Roosevelt High School (ETA) in North East ISD where she is a specialized Engineering teacher and teaches three prep courses in grades 9 -12 in Engineering Math, Engineering Design & Presentation (Auto Desk Inventor) and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Aerospace Engineering Course. Ms. Lund is also the sponsor for the school’s Rocketry Student Launch Club.
Ms. Lund received a BS in Civil Engineering and Masters in Civil Engineering, both from Texas A&M University. Following college, Ms. Lund was head of the Geotechnical Engineering Department at Gessner Engineering for eight years and then, because of her passion for working with students in STEM education, began her teaching career at Inquire Academy in Bryan ISD teaching calculus and algebra before joining the faculty at Engineering & Technologies Academy at Roosevelt High School (ETA).
In his nomination of Ms. Lund for the SEEA, Mr. Robert Lozano, the Director of ETA, stated that “…Ms. Lund consistently promotes STEM through ETA when it hosts 8th-grade student visits through shadow days and magnet nights at ETA. Her background in Civil Engineering plays a key role in recruiting many visiting male and female students looking at exploring a career in STEM. Ms. Lund spends countless hours outside of her daily work schedule working with our students in preparing for the multiple phases of building a level 2 rocket for the NASA Student Launch (SL) yearly competition. She works with her rocketry students to prepare their… proposal for NASA, then works with the team’s mentor… to ensure the integrity and safety of their build. She truly is an inspiration to our students…”
Perhaps, Nathan Puckett, one of Ms. Lund’s students, put it best when he said, “…the genius of Mrs. Lund’s teaching style doesn’t just come from her flexibility regarding assignments. There is a certain simple elegance in the lessons she teaches to students that are quite difficult to put into words. Everything is linked logically and neatly with each other, which is impressive considering the non-standardized education she teaches. Just like life, things aren’t set in stone, and Mrs. Lund responds to it. However, one thing is for sure: Mrs. Lund has gone above and beyond any other teacher, and she’s certainly advanced the STEM field in more ways than one.”