meec

MEEC improves the environmental literacy of students, teachers, and communities of the Mojave Desert Region by actively providing educational resources.

Teacher Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight

Meet James Stockdale

James Stockdale has been an educator at Pete Knight High School for the entire duration of his 10 year teaching career. A skilled science teacher, James has put his knowledge of biology and chemistry to good use as he has assisted in the development of two University of California-approved lab science/Career and Technical Education High School courses titled “Biological Links to Energy and Environment” and “Chemistry and Environmental Engineering: Water We Doing?” He also has taught Introduction to Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and currently teaches Digital Electronics. James serves as one of the coordinators for the school’s Digital Design and Engineering Academy (DDE). “I attended my first MEEC function six years ago,” says James, whose involvement has continued to increase over the years. James has attended MEEC teacher workshops on solar and renewable energy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Service Learning. Using the tools and curriculum that these workshops have provided to him, James has worked with multiple solar oven cooking teams turning MEEC’s annual solar cook-off competition into a regular classroom activity. “Our students created scale pizza box solar ovens as an introduction to the unit and encouraged students to compete at the competition,” said James. He and his winning solar cook-off team were invited to be presenters at MEEC’s 2013 Environmental Leadership Conference. James was also selected to attend the 2013 MEEC “EnviRetreat”, a placed-based learning workshop that took place at various locations throughout the Mojave Desert. His ongoing dedication to advancing his student’s environmental stewardship also earned James the MEEC “Teacher of Excellence” award in 2014. James and his fellow teachers at Knight High School have also found many creative ways to incorporate Environmental STEM activities into their school’s curriculum. “Our focus in on clean technology and we accomplished that through the lens of design and engineering,” said James. To facilitate a comprehensive experience for all students, they have brought in a host of projects to work on, including: MEEC’s Solar Oven Cook-Off, SkillsUSA Engineering and Design Challenge and the Northrop Grumman Innovation Challenge. Last year’s Innovation Challenge was to build a small solar car. “Solar has always been something that our students have been interested in since we first started doing lessons, following a MEEC workshop,” stated James. “Building the solar car helped increase their understanding of solar energy even more. The project led them to want to learn how to do a real full scale solar project.” Utilizing his students’ enthusiasm, James researched off-grid solar projects and became familiar with Grid Alternatives, a non-profit organization that works to bring solar power to families. Stockdale and his students will be working with Grid Alternative in the spring as they install a PV solar unit at a local family’s home which will prepare them for their upcoming project in Agua Fria, Nicaragua. “These projects are allowing our students to gain hands-on and real world experiences as they move beyond classroom instruction to application,” commented James, adding, “All the varied types of support offered to our academy by MEEC have allowed us to develop this program for our students that is engaging and offers top notch instruction.”