First Name

Leigh

Last Name

Metcalfe

Bio

Always fascinated by science I grew up tinkering, exploring and learning as much as I could about how things worked. Teachers willing to go above and beyond helped me follow my passion and work in the sciences in high school and college. I realized through an accidental job at an outdoor school that I loved teaching science as much as I loved learning about it. After obtaining a teaching license and teaching for a few years, I helped to start my first science based club that has been thriving for the last 8 years. This was an environmental club that encouraged students to take action to reduce their impact on the environment through school-based and community-based action projects. Over the years, female leaders stepped up and used social media, technology and grant writing to encouraged their classmates to take action. Some of the goals they set and accomplished were to reduce water use in bathrooms, make the school an idle-free zone to reduce climate change and switch to reusable water bottles by installing a refill station. More recently- four years ago, I started the robotics/engineering club when a small group of students who were really interested in engineering wanted an opportunity to design, build, program and solve problems through robotics. At the same time, our school developed engineering focused pathways for students interested in going into to civil or environmental engineering related fields. I helped to design a class, Energy Technologies, that encouraged students to learn the fundamentals of electricity, electronics and engineering to explore energy related problems. The first year I taught the classes, I had a ratio of 30:1 boys:girl. Through recruiting girls and using high school girls to talk with other students about STEM, I slowly increased the numbers in my classes to 4:1 boys:girls which continues to increase. Last year, I encouraged a small group of girls to form an all-girl robotics team. This team won the Northern Nevada FTC championship last year and took third place in the state. Students who were in my Energy Technologies class qualified to participate in Skills USA as one co-ed and one all girl team in Mobile Robotics. This year, the robotics team has doubled in size and we are currently 9:11 boys:girls on the team. The students push themselves to learn to create computer drafted robot designs using inventor, dive into programing for autonomous and operated control of the robots, they design templates for data collection and assembly portfolios of their work and show case their team work, dedication and problem solving skills through interviews. I am very encouraged by young women who are willing to push themselves in science, math and technology and enjoy working with them as learn as much as they can in high school so they are prepared for college and careers in STEM. To support students over the years I have become a member of various professional organizations that provide training, materials and resources to teachers such as FIRST, SkillsUSA, NSTA, CUE, and NACTE.