Tallmadge Middle School Engineering and Technology instructor Justin Christopher was presented the International Middle School Program of Excellence Award March 7 at the 75th Annual International Technology and Engineering Educators Association conference in Columbus.
This is the first year Tallmadge has received the award.
"I have been teaching Gateway to Technology at the middle school for the past five years," said Christopher, adding "There are 33 schools from all over the U.S. being honored. Only one middle school and one high school from each state can receive the award each year."
Christopher said he attributes the honor to the STEM program.
"In the past few years I have expanded the exposure students have to real-world authentic engineering challenges by offering a Robotics Club and a Soap Box Derby Club. These clubs, on top of the authentic learning my students gain through their classroom experiences, have earned us recognition as one of the nation's premier STEM programs," he said.
He said the award is also due to the industry support from area businesses, including Tallmadge Collision, Circle Mold and Machine, Summit Racing and Ward Jet.
Christopher also recognized the support the Tallmadge Foundation has given to purchase equipment for students.
"The students at Tallmadge Middle School have learning experiences that rival some of the best technology and engineering schools in the country," he said.
He also said the schools' administration has been an integral part in the success of this program.
"From the superintendent and curriculum director to the principals -- STEM education is an important component of our students learning experience," he said.
Christopher, who earned a bachelor's degree in technology education from Kent State University along with a master's degree in education from KSU, is a member of Northeast Ohio Technology Education & Engineering Association NEOTEEA, Ohio Technology Education & Engineering Education Association OTEEA and the International Technology Education and Engineering Association ITEEA.