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About Mr. John Leneschmidt

Pelion Middle School Receptionist: 821-2300 ----- jleneschmidt@lexington1.net

Welcome to Technology Education and the STEM Academy! My name is Mr. John Leneschmidt, or "Mr. L," and I am delighted to be able to work with you to equip our young people to be competitive problem solvers in the twenty-first century.
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Instructor Background, Transformation & Credentials

I teach Industrial Technology Education and the STEM Academy for grades 6-8 at Pelion Middle School where I have served since the spring of 2005, and I would like to briefly share a little about myself, and my technology experiences in the field with you here. After high school, I served as an aviation mechanic rising to the rank of second class air warfare specialist/E5 in the US Navy (1989-93), am a veteran of Gulf 1 and have traveled extensively. During my military service I earned the Navy Achievement Medal for my technical abilities and my private pilot's license off duty when stateside (single engine aircraft/VFR). After being honorably discharged, I attended Murray State University in Murray, KY where I earned my degree in Industrial Arts Technology with an area in CAD Design (1993-97). Graduating MSU, I designed quality assurance gages for automobile parts between 1997 and 1999. (See "Example of Mr. L's Design Work in the links section to view one of my designs). Then, I moved to Columbia to attend an intercultural program at Columbia International University in preparation to teach cross culturally (1999-02). After graduate school, I worked as a full time substitute teacher primarily for Eau ClaireHigh School at Richland One (2002-03), and in communications/transportation technologies as an operations agent for Delta DGS at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (2003-2005). I have happily served as the Industrial Technology Education (now STEM Academy) instructor for grades 6-8 at Pelion Middle School since the spring of 2005. I currently reside in Lexington with my wife, son, and daughter. I play guitar, and occasionally do a fund raiser or recital. I read, study and travel. I am a person of faith. I am also athletic, adventurous, and love a challenge-I SCUBA dive, practice Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and now training for my first triathlon. I coach robotics and serve as an assistant pee wee football coach. I love life, learning, and equipping others to do great things-and for its own sake. Nothing is more fun than working with/serving young people here at PMS, and being a part of a great team of educators at Pelion Middle School and the Lexington One School District. __________________________________________________________________________
Program Transformation

We are doing whatever it takes to facilitate your son's/daughter's success here and beyond! After writing/receiving two grants in 2006-07, electronics and robotics were integrated into our ITE/STEM program. Also, the first after school robotics team was founded to solidify/reinforce math and science in applied/engaging ways. Our teams have placed first in robot design and research in the past with a lot of hard work. I developed a forensics module with the help of educators and forensic crime scene investigators from the field for our students in 2009-10. During the 2010-11 year I was awarded a MCEC Bright Idea’s grant that is STEM based. This grant combined with the generous donation of several flight simulators strengthened our aerodynamics strand. The same year I developed a multimedia module to help students develop impressive projects for their core classes. The better part of summer of 2011 was spent attending conferences in order to integrate the STEM Academy during the 2011-12 school year. Those visiting the classroom will note ongoing transformation in the physical learning environment as well as the quality and rigor of instruction. I spent the summer of 2012 resurfacing our classroom floor and developing my new unit of instruction for buoyancy physics using the STEM Academy sea perch activity. During the 2012 year I also worked with others to integrate CCSS technical reading and writing standards. One outcome was producing a technical writing rubric that integrates CCSS with the 2008 ELA rubric in collaboration with literacy coaches and ELA experts. Another outcome was producing an authentic technical team writing project where students create an owner’s operational manual for the sea perches they build.

I can’t wait to start the 2013-14 year and working with you!

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Instructor Credentials

I possess certification to teach the STEM Academy and Industrial Technology Education by the South Carolina Department of Education. Moreover, I continue to grow through additional graduate classes, district classes, and seasoned mentors. I have presented in two conferences involving STEM and CCSS integration to date (Portland, OR and Charlotte, NC). I also presented during Teacher Forum Leadership Council events, have served on various committees for our school district at large, and serve as mentor instructor. I worked with others/spear-headed the yearbook in 2012-13, continue to serve as the Webmaster and as the robotics coach at Pelion Middle School. More importantly, I sincerely care about making a positive difference in the lives of young people and strive to model excellence and integrity while equipping them to be competitive in the twenty-first century. I spend summers teaching at Camp Invention and assist in sports camps.

Technology is indeed expanding at an exponential rate, but I am a life-long learner that seeks to grow, and be on the cutting edge of the latest innovations in technology vocationally as well as recreationally. Modeling this is important because success learning is "caught" as much as it is taught. STEM is a lot of fun! I have fun, want students to have fun, but not at the expense of working hard to make core and other meaningful academic connections that are appropriate, engaging, and safe. See my educational philosophy by clicking on my favorites tab. I will share one example. One teacher went out and purchased a book on the technology of canning and making jerky for a past student who had little interest for anything other than hunting. This was appropriate because the book had nothing to do with firearms or hunting methods. Yet, it was STEM related to something of interest to the student. Behavior and performance improved in all areas in this case. I had other students build a scaled modal of an engine and give a presentation of its systems. The expense was a small price for maintaining an environment conducive to learning for all students. The most important thing was cultivating a love for learning and motivating the at risk student to take ownership for learning what they should know and be able to do on grade level. The willingness and commitment to go to appropriate extremes to help students "get it" is an unwritten credential, and one I have observed by many of my colleagues in practice.

My desire is to equip young people to be thinking, productive, and responsible citizens in an ever-changing world by providing innovative, challenging instructional programs, and quality learning experiences in technology education that are characterized by effective teaching, active learning and technological integration in a safe, nurturing, and positive environment in which each student will seek his/her full potential. I am constantly growing, working to improve our technology education program, and strive to engage every student with appropriate and meaningful ITE-STEM instruction and activities daily. Combined with my practical technically related experience in the field, and in the classroom, I come highly qualified.
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What is STEM?

Industrial Technology Education, or simply “technology education” at Pelion Middle School uses the STEM Academy learning management system as an organizer of instruction in accordance with state and national STEM standards. What is STEM? STEM is often understood as an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. Some people think of STEM as Stem with a science emphasis. Others think of STEM as steM with a math emphasis. Still others read STEM as SteM, sTem, stEm or sTEm. You get the idea. Each letter should carry equal weight if reading STEM as an acronym only. However, STEM is a conceptual framework that includes the notion of integrating many disciplines through technology with the goal of preparing engineers and other varieties of global-minded problem solvers to work together in an intra-dependent context characterized by critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, content rigor, and commitment. Therefore, English Language Arts, or ELA is as important as science, technology, engineering and math in STEM education. Technology education and the STEM Academy are no different.

Our “hands-on” “minds-on” program exposes middle school students to a variety of career and technology skills, technology applications, and problem solving activities that will prepare them to be successful in the twenty-first century in which we live. It is a hands on class that applies what students are learning in their core classes, but with an equal emphasis in technology and engineering. I encourage you to explore this site to learn more about the nature of technology education, and how our program continues to strengthen. Pelion Middle School is a new school. This is a new career and technology education program, and your loved ones now have opportunities many only dream about!

Please do not allow all of this to be overwhelming or be intimidating. It is going to be tough, we will learn in a safe environment, but we are going to have a blast!

Review the course syllabus for class specifics and, or select the following for more information about the STEM Academy:

http://www.stem101.org/programs.asp __________________________________________________________________________
Partnering Together

You will note other links located on this site that include information about classroom rules, consequences, rewards and privileges, daily routine/procedures, program overview and the grading policy for your information. I am asking for your support at home as I seek to be fair, firm, and consistent in maintaining an environment conducive to learning. I have made provision to have fun with structure where human and material safety/school policy will not be compromised. However, there are times where we must honor the traditional classroom model. I have explained this in greater detail under "General Classroom Procedures (Explained)," which is included in the library section. Reviewing this with your loved one should eliminate any confusion, and will minimize potential misunderstandings regarding classroom protocol for the student in the future. Students will receive demonstrations and a safety brief prior to any hands-on work. Then, they will be assessed for understanding before doing any independent practice for a unit project. I will also send this information home in a newsletter at the very beginning of the course, which you will need to sign before your son/daughter uses equipment in this class. This ensures me that you have received the newsletter, and understand that your son/daughter is accountable for the equipment they use.

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Conclusion & Contact Information

Please let me know if your son or daughter has any special needs or medical problems. I also welcome parental involvement whether it involves sharing your technical and professional expertise, chaperoning, or simply visiting. I love having parents visit the classroom, and it conveys the message, "I care." You will note my email address at the bottom of this page for your convenience. You may also phone me at 821-2300, which is the number to the Technology Education & STEM Academy lab. Do not hesitate to contact me in the future if you have any questions or concerns. I want my students to be successful, and I want to help in any way possible. I am excited about STEM-technology, and having your loved one (s) in our STEM Academy Technology Center this year!

Sincerely,

Mr. Leneschmidt, PMS Tech Ed & STEM Academy

jleneschmidt@lexington1.net