Marc Hans, ScienceFIST
Picture a room full of kids using computers and other Wifi-friendly devices to roam the web, and your mind probably leads to thoughts of distraction. But Marc Hans, a sixth-grade science teacher and founder of an after-school program for at-risk kids, has found ways to integrate cutting-edge devices into the classroom experiences so that kids are not only more engaged but also focused.
As a result of his own bad childhood experiences in classrooms, Marc shakes his fist at old-school education—literally. He founded the ScienceFIST Foundation in 2010 to prepare at-risk students to become the next generation of innovators, through hands-on, after-school science-mentoring programs. At each session, one or two kids are designated as bloggers for the day: At the end of the class, they sum up the group’s process and discoveries, sharing information with other kids via the Web. Blogging is just one way Marc’s after-school programs unite Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs throughout Chicago, creating a community of students and educators dedicated to science and engineering.
Marc knows he’s onto something, and the education community has noticed. He’s taught in underserved communities for more than a decade, and the dramatic results of his teaching have earned him an award from the Golden Apple Foundation and a Chicago Public Schools DRIVE Award.
To see just how Marc gets his students pumping their righteous ScienceFISTs in the air, watch the above video.