2018 STEM Teacher Ambassador

James Brown
Sand Creek Middle School
Albany, NY

James BrownJames Brown has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels for over 25 years. He holds NY certifications for Elementary N–6, Math 7–12, Physics 7–12, Business 7–12, General Science 7–12, and School District Administrator, as well as National Board certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist (Nov. 2000 and Nov. 2009). He is currently a middle level STEM teacher at Sand Creek Middle School in Albany, NY. Brown holds an MST in Elementary Education and a BS in Engineering Management.

Brown began using LEGO robotics in the classroom in 2011 using one NXT robot to help teach mathematics and science lessons. Each year since he has expanded the program by adding more robotics kits and more subject areas until it became the departmentalized STEM course on robotics and programming taught to each sixth grader in the South Colonie Central School District in Albany, NY. Brown has also worked with teachers and pre-service teachers to help them utilize LEGO robotics in the classroom.

He participates in numerous educational advisory capacities for organizations involved in energy and also holds numerous certifications in the energy sector, including Certified Energy Manager, Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, Certified Sustainable Development Professional, and Certified Building Operator. He has developed a STEM course that focuses on wind and solar energy, as well as energy storage. Each fifth grader in the South Colonie Central School District is enrolled in this course.

His unique teaching style has earned him numerous teaching awards, most notably, the NSTA Distinguished Science Teaching Award and the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Brown also received the Robert E. Yager Excellence in Teaching Award, the Gustav Ohaus Science Teaching Award, the Scadden Science Teacher of the Year Award, and the SCA North America Environmental Science Award.

Outside the classroom, he has facilitated workshops through graduate level courses in both educational and business settings. Additionally, he has helped develop and judge national and international STEM competition and grant programs for such firms as Applied Materials, NBC Universal, and Toyota. Most recently, he has worked with Netflix, 9Story, and Scholastic as a curriculum content advisor on the reboot of the popular Magic School Bus series, which is currently available on Netflix.

Recently, Jim has served as a trainer for the Energizing Student Potential program in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas. The program is a multiyear Energy and STEM effort for schools sponsored by the Exelon Foundation, ComEd, Pepco, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and BP. Jim supports educational energy audits in participating schools and the teacher professional development activities for the program.

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