First Name

John

Last Name

Niebergall

Bio

John Niebergall’s accomplishments on behalf of his students are many. Over the course of John’s 32-year career in public education he has taught Engineering, Architecture, CAD/CAM, and Woodworking. In all of these classes, John has focused on providing his students with hands-on, contextual, real-world learning experiences. www.BowmenFabLab.com In this context he has coached his students in robotics and taken them to the National competition where they were national champions. He has made contacts in the community and raised over $100,000 through grants and in-kind contributions. He has personally funded a Fab-lab with industry-standard software and state of the art prototyping equipment for his students. Subsequently, this has led to a student-run, school-based enterprise, thereby providing students with the experience of designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing a series of products used within the community of Sherwood. John developed a program in 2009-2010 and proposed it to the administration in his building. The program would be a co-taught class in which girls would design, develop, and produce a product following the template he had created in his other classes. The response was overwhelming when the class was launched this year. Two sections were offered and both were immediately filled and a waiting list was created. Because of John’s efforts 60 girls are now studying Engineering and Construction with 60 more waiting to take the course next trimester. After 26 years of highly successful teaching, John still asks questions of himself and his program: What are the barriers keeping young women from taking STEM classes and what can I do to address this? The results speak for themselves!