Reflections From the First PLTW Alum to Become a Master Teacher

Gabe Valdez is a Principles of Engineering (POE) Master Teacher and also has credits in Engineering Design and Development (EDD) as well as Digital Electronics (DE). Gabe teaches at The Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes, Texas.

When I was a sophomore in high school in the year 2000, I had heard about a new program coming to my high school called Project Lead The Way.

The Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes, Texas, had always focused on STEM, but I was interested in these new courses that were going to be offered. I decided to take Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) my junior year in high school, and I also took Engineering Design and Development (EDD) my senior year.

These PLTW classes set me up for success in college. I remember flying through my engineering graphics course in college because of what I learned in IED, and I use the skills I learned in EDD daily.

I then graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, and in 2009, I became a Master Teacher for Principles of Engineering (POE). I am the first PLTW student to become a PLTW Master Teacher, and I am very proud of that fact.

I currently teach one section of POE and five sections of EDD at The Science Academy of South Texas, the very school that introduced me to PLTW, and I also teach in the very classroom that I took EDD in.

PLTW has opened the doors in many ways in my life, and I have formed life-long friends in this network.

PLTW’s blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of each guest author.