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Paving The Way In Technology & Engineering Education

Each day in teacher Dan Lemieux’s Spruce Mountain High School class, students discover something new. Whether they’re making robots or wind blades, Lemieux challenges his technology and engineering students to think with both their minds and their hands.  Lemieux’s students work on several projects each year. One of the most recent successes came when the students helped design and plan a site for a wind turbine at the school.  They even poured the concrete foundation for the turbine.

Dan Lemieux's Class at FIRST RoboticsLemieux, of RSU 73 EA, runs the school’s Technology and Engineering (T&E) program, educating students in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.  The hands-on approach to T&E learning allows students to learn critical thinking skills and problem solving, which will help them regardless of career choice. By working with products like robots, Lemieux teaches principles in math, science and physics to create a diverse pipeline of students who will understand technology, preparing them for the workforce.

“You hear the reports from the state, saying we have all these jobs but no one qualified to fill them.  Getting kids turned on to engineering, physics, hands-on problem solving… giving them that education will get kids the jobs if they choose to go to a two- or four-year college.  I had a student who barely graduated high school and he took my class and now he is helping design hulls for ships. That is what I hang my hat on,” said Lemieux.

Lemieux’s students truly are the innovators of tomorrow.  Lemieux is being awarded for his success in technology and engineering education.

Dan Lemieux is the 2013 recipient of the Teacher Excellence Award as given by the Technology & Engineering Educators Association of Maine (T.E.E.A.M.) and the International Technology & Engineering EducatorsDan Lemieux's students bring their robot to the floor Association (I.T.E.E.A.) The award is competitive and given to only one outstanding high school Technology and Engineering Educator in Maine.

The principal at Spruce Mountain, “Specs” Eaton says, “If you are indeed seeking an outstanding technology and engineering teacher to serve as a model for their colleagues and who could form a leadership core to affect change in the field, then I recommend that you search no further.  Dan Lemieux is an outstanding and innovative educator in the field of technology.”

As the nation becomes more technologically literate, it is clear educators like Lemieux are needed to teach students how to become problem solvers and creative thinkers who can work as a team, to perhaps one day design the next automobile.  The lessons students learn in Lemieux’s classroom help students uncover what engineering is all about and how it can be applied in real life situations.

“Our program is also about rebuilding our industries. We are trying to fill up Maine’s old mills with high tech industries. We are going to train these kids to be good engineers or designers.  When they go off to a two-year or a four-year school, hopefully they will come back to Maine and build industry here,” added Lemieux.

Lemieux works with students both in the classroom and in the community.  He extended the T&E program into the commercial and industrial communities during several engineering challenges, including the US FIRST Robotics, Dan Lemieux's class works on the windblade challengeVex Robotics and the Maine Windblade challenges.  Lemieux and his students won several regional and state titles for their extraordinary efforts and even competed in the Vex World Championships, the largest robot competition of the year with teams from 20 different countries.

As a self-described over achiever, Lemieux works to create unique opportunities for his students.  After retaining grant money and fundraising for robotics projects, students in grades 9-12 learned about computer-aided drafting, architectural design and building construction, automotive, metals and woods technologies and robotics.

Lemieux is not only the department head of the T&E program, but he serves many roles in the school, including the Student Council Advisor, the Cross-Country Coach, and the MLTI Leader/Teacher, to name a few.

The MEA would like to congratulate Dan Lemieux on his work in the classroom and the community.  You are truly an amazing member!  Lemieux will be formally honored at the annual conferences of the T.E.E.A.M. and the I.T.E.E.A. in March.

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