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.    . Bethesda: Oct 6, 2010. Vol. 30, Iss. 6; pg. 4, 1 pgs

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A high school science and engineering teacher who develops R   áá 

 courses to inspire his
students has been named one of this year's 23 MacArthur Fellows.
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Copyright Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. Oct 6, 2010

A high school science and engineering teacher who develops projectábasedálearning courses to inspire his
students has been named one of this year's 23 MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation.
He is believed to be the first public school science teacher to receive one of the foundation's annual "genius
grants," worth $500,000 each.
Amir Aboá haeer, who teaches physics and engineering at Dos Pueblos High chool, in Goleta, Calif.,
began his professional career as a mechanical engineer before moving into education in 2001. In 2002, he
started the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, a specialized program at the high school with a rigorous
applied science curriculum that integrates physics, engineering, and math courses, and he continues to
direct the academy. He recently helped secure a $3 million matching grant from California to expand the
engineering program at Dos Pueblos High with a new, 12,000ásquareáfoot facility.
The MacArthur Foundation lauded Mr. Aboá haeer's "novel and effective model of science instruction."
The Chicagoábased philanthropy said his approach was "instilling a passion for the physical sciences in
young men and women and is contributing to the preparation of the next generation of scientists and
engineers."
Mr. Aboá haeer, who plans to continue teaching, noted that the grant was meant to allow him "to act
quickly on creative ideas that I have that we can try out in education," and that is what he intends to do.
"I've been doing a lot of things that are creative by any means necessary," he said. "I'd really rather, if we
have a good idea, implement it effectively."
"I'm trying to change the way we deliver curriculum to students," he added. "There is so much focus on
information and not as much on the experience. ... You can't build a robot by reading about it online."
Among the other winners of this years grants are ebastian Ruth, a violist, violinist, and music educator for
urban youths who founded Community MusicWorks, a nonprofit group based in Providence, R.I., that
offers frequent performances and free musical instruction; and Emmanuel aez, an economist at the
University of California, Berkeley, who coáwrote a study that sought to calculate the economic value of
outstanding kindergarten teachers. The winners were chosen for their creativity, originality, and potential to
make important contributions in the future, the foundation said