Our 2016-17 Milken EducatorsPhoto 10 of 33
Lukas Hefty (FL '16) | Magnet coordinator, math and science coach, Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Elementary | St. Petersburg, FL
Date of Award: January 12, 2017
Lukas Hefty has a singular mission: to introduce young students to the exciting fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Lukas has led the evolution of the Jamerson Engineering Units, a unique, teacher-created curriculum for all grade levels. He teaches an after-school STEM lab for fourth- and fifth-grade students and has organized two schoolwide engineering fairs involving team displays, student-led activities, an all-school design challenge and evening events that drew more than 800 family and community members. And students are thriving: In 2015, 81% of fifth-grade students achieved a level 3 or higher on the science FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), up from 48% in 2011.
Of all the STEM components, Lukas believes engineering is the most important. "It provides a real-world platform for the application of science, mathematics and technology," says Lukas. "It should be a part of every classroom, during the school day, beginning in kindergarten."
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