Photos of students and teachers

2008 Innovation in Education Award Finalist

Lee Kucera

Award: High Impact Teacher of the Year
Capistrano Valley High School (AP Statistics)
Capistrano Unified School District

“I see the use of technology in education not as “innovation,” but as both a pathway to the future and a fun way for me to teach and for students to learn.” 
Lee Kucera, AP Statistics Teacher

Program Description

Dr. Kucera got hooked on the use of technology back in the days of the IBM 360 Mainframe computer, and hasn’t looked back since. She has also seen the use of technology in education “hook” countless students in her classes. It is this love of and respect for technology that informs the way Dr. Kucera teaches her AP Statistics courses at Capistrano Valley High School.

Through the use of an LCD projector, student laptops, JMP statistical software from SAS, and lessons posted on SchoolLoop, she reinforces statistical concepts, both in class and for student homework assignments. Beginning in Fall 2007, faculty from the Academy of Technology, Math, and Science at CVHS began utilizing Nspire handheld devices from Texas Instruments based on the recommendation of Dr. Kucera. Students use the Nspire to work interactively and can see the effects of changing something as small as a single data point.

Dr. Kucera not only uses technology to inspire and motivate students, but also works to train other teachers on how to use technology in the classroom more effectively. As a trainer, she has instructed teachers all over the United States, as well as Singapore and Micronesia.

As a result of the increase in technology use in her Statistics courses, Dr. Kucera has seen her students’ AP test pass rates increase from the low 60% range to 90%, compared to the national average pass rate in the high 50% range. She also keeps in contact with numerous past students who tell her the material they covered in her class has been invaluable to their college career.

What is the role of K-12 education in driving Orange County’s economic competitiveness?

Through increased use of technology and the motivation to learn that the use of technology can inspire, Ms. Kucera’s students are trained to be better prepared for today’s changing world and to be more competitive in tomorrow’s economy.

How can business and community members support your efforts?

check mark Arrange a student field trip at your workplace.
  Arrange a teacher field trip at your workplace.
  Help underwrite our science, math, or technology programs.
  Participate in a virtual career panel at our school.
  Provide college scholarships to our students
  Provide guest speakers at our school.
  Provide internships to our students.
  Provide scholarships for teachers to attend STEM-related conferences.
  Provide summer job opportunities to our teaching staff to help them understand workplace requirements.
  Sponsor a robotics team at our school.
  Volunteer as a STEM mentor to our students.
  Volunteer as a STEM mentor to our teachers.
  Volunteer to help with our Science Fair or Science Olympiad.
  Work with our teachers to integrate "real-world" skills into their classroom curriculum.

 

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