For Immediate Release: May 28, 2014
From: International Association for STEM Leaders
International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and awards Steven Zipkes of Manor New Tech High School with the prestigious STEM Visionary Award for his leadership in STEM education. Zipkes will be the first of many national STEM leaders featured in a video documentary beginning this week.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
The National STEM Visionary Award was presented to Steven Zipkes, Principal, Manor New Tech High School in Texas. The award was presented to Zipkes to honor his unprecedented vision and dedication to the STEM field. His school model gains him over 1000 visitors a year looking at his school for national replication. President Obama visited Manor New Tech High School earlier this year and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan as well as prior acting U.S. Secretary of Labor, Seth Harris have recognized Zipkes’ leadership. “He is an early innovator and adopter of the STEM movement in his school and he seamlessly integrates technology and project and problem- based learning in an integrated and comprehensive way,” stated Dr. Carole Cameron Inge, founder of IASL. Zipkes also presented at the IASL event to his colleagues and peers attending to learn more about STEM leadership.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. Today, IASL is launching the first of many video documentaries to spread the word about STEM leaders and recognize them for their innovation and hard work to improve schools across the world. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional STEM leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and community economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was held in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors.
As the founding Principal of the highly acclaimed and nationally recognized Manor New Technology High School and CoDesigner/Creator of Think Forward PBL, Mr. Zipkes’ leadership promotes quality instruction, adaptive leadership, teacher development, student success, and STEM education through Project Based Learning.
MNTH is a STEM public high school within the Manor Independent School District and is the only Nationally Designated Project Based Learning Training and Demonstration School site within the consortium of schools of the New Tech Network. Numerous accolades have been bestowed upon MNTH, distinguishing the school in many arenas. The school’s greatest honor was the recent visit by The President of The United States, President Obama who highlighted the successes MNTH has had in STEM student achievement through its Project Based Learning approach. Other successes include the teaching and assessing of 21st Century Skills as an Apple Distinguished School every year since 2008, being recognized as a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education, and a Secondary Showcase School by the Center for Secondary School Redesign. Additionally, numerous published case studies and papers validating the promising practices at MNTH have been authored. For the last 2 years MNTH has been recognized in the top 22% of high schools in the country and awarded Bronze Medals, A Nationally Recognized High School by US News and Report despite not offering Advanced Placement courses. Manor New Tech is featured as A School That Works, “Project Based Learning: Success Start to Finish” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia, STEM Integration in K-12 Education; Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research (2014) National Academy of Engineering; National Research Council, and finally Mr. Zipkes recently coauthored Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators, Edited by Margaret Honey and David Kanter and published by Routledge.
Zipkes with a team of teachers presented at the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University in 2009 in response to Manor New Tech’s recognition in the study for closing the achievement gap. Furthermore, in his March 3, 2010 speech, US Secretary Arne Duncan highlighted MNTH as a “model school for reaching underserved youth”. Mr. Zipkes has been a featured guest on EdWeek’s National Webinar, “The New Wave of STEM-Focused Schools” as well as a featured blog on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website: New Thinking for New Schools for the 21st Century. Mr. Zipkes has led 2 high schools and 1 middle school to their first ever State Exemplary Ratings, and in 2011, Steven was named an Apple Distinguished Educator, one of approximately 1500 worldwide.
Think Forward PBL has seen unprecedented success since its inception in 2009 and has trained hundreds of practitioners throughout the US and well as schools from Great Britain, Mexico, and Canada in the processes of Project Based Learning in STEM.
Mr. Zipkes received his BS in Radio-Television-Film from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.Ed. in School Administration from Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas. Mr. Zipkes holds a Mid-Management and Superintendent Certifications and has served in both of those roles throughout his career.