First Name

Pilar

Last Name

Gonzalez

Bio

Pilar Gonzalez was born in Veracruz, Mexico. She studied at Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)) and graduated in Computer Systems in 1992. Pilar started her Alternative Teacher Certification Program at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She obtained her EC–4 Generalist Certification (TX) in 2006 and her EC-6 Generalist (TX) in 2010. Pilar received her Master of Arts in Education degree at UTEP, under Dr. Olga Kosheleva’s guidance in May 2010. In 2009 she started working as a 4th and 5th grade Math and Science teacher at Loretto Academy in El Paso. She is a Senior Fellow from the Notre Dame University Trustey Family Fellowship. Ms. Gonzalez is currently member of The National Scholars Honor Society, Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society, ASCD (Association Supervision and Curriculum Development), and ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education). She has made several presentations at conferences such as: NASA PSTC Conference, February 2008, CETAL Conference (UTEP) February 2009, TNT and More Conference, Ysleta ISD, TX and more Ms. Pilar Gonzalez started the FIRST robotics program at Loretto Academy in 2011 with an FLL team. She has helped expand the FIRST program throughout the entire Academy (PreK3–12th) with a total of 10 JrFLL, 4 FLL, one FTC and one FRC team through the last 8 years. Loretto Academy has a co-ed elementary school, while the middle and high school are girls only. The focus of the Academy was historically in Liberal Arts only, but now she has pushed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as an important part of the school. After the team’s first participation in FRC (2016) the Academy created a class, during period zero for robotics. The next year, it became a Technology Education and Literacy in School, in partnership with Microsoft. Ms. Gonzalez has been 4th and 5th grade teacher. She has also been a Coach for the FLL 6564 Angelbots Yellow team. With her guidance that allowed the team to compete on the North America Invitational in Toronto, Canada in 2014. At this point in time, only the elementary school had a FIRST team, in 2015 the middle school started their own FLL team, and in 2016 she founded our FRC 6144 Angelbots Gold. Ms. Gonzalez has always supported our teams to find the necessary resources, such as mentors, financial and school support. The students have learned from her how to be proactive and positive against all their challenges. The FRC team is the first girls-only team in El Paso region. She has promoted confidence in the team members, showing them that they can do all the things boys can do, such as handling power tools, carrying heavy objects, not being competitive on the field, etc. Ms. Gonzalez has always said, “Go show them what we Loretto women can do!” Even though she is not an engineer, she has shown the students how to apply the engineering process due to her STEM training. They have learned that is not just the technical problems but all other aspects that can be solved by using this process. When they have had disagreements, Ms. Gonzalez helped them to work it out and find a solution that all accept. Team FRC 6144 has been successful winning – Rookie All Star, Spirit Award 2 years in a row, one Dean’s List Finalist and one Dean’s List Semifinalist over the years. In the last El Paso FRC competition, the team ranked just below NASA’s, and was awarded the ‘Excellence in Engineering’. The team has been comprised of 10 students per season (except this year), over the past 3 years we had graduated 14 members from our team and 13 of them are pursuing a STEM career. Some of them that are studying at our local university still volunteer for the FIRST events in the city.