Two North Country STEM Network and Ecosystem leaders were recently honored by the New York State STEM Education Collaborative with the Margaret Ashida Leadership Award. Jim King, a senior partner at King+King Architects, received the Business Partnership Award. Lisa Blank, the Director of STEM Programming for the Watertown City School District, received the School District Leadership Award.
King was recognized for his strong commitment to changing the way students are taught and prepared to be tomorrow’s workforce. He can often be found in classrooms across central and northern NY working with students. He speaks with student project team leaders, asking design questions, or demonstrating a building concept or alternative energy application. He hosts large groups of students in his Syracuse office for a design studio day, fostering their creative problem-solving abilities.
King’s passion for change and STEM learning extends to educators, school board members, and other stakeholders. He has presented at countless conferences in NY and throughout the country. He is consistent in his message that school must develop the transferable skills of critical thinking, communication, and collaboration using real-world problems as the vehicle. Jim is also a founding partner for the Collaborative Educator Summit and Conversations and Connections events, co-sponsored by Clarkson University and other local businesses.
Blank was recognized as an educational leader who builds capacity in her colleagues and in their students. She has her finger on the pulse of technology and its use in the classroom. She has demonstrated the use, application, and integration of programs, equipment, and “fascinating gadgets” in countless classrooms throughout the North Country. She has a passion for everything STEM. She is a valued resource for the latest trends, the newest gizmos, and emerging technologies. As a result of her efforts and connections, the Watertown School District has received both the Lego Education Partnership materials and the FUSE grant.
Lisa willingly shares her expertise with the greater New York State community. She has presented at the STEM Education Collaborative and NYS Technology and Engineering Educators conferences, as well as several other conferences and staff development days, including the STEM Education Collaborative, NYS Technology, and Engineering Educators conferences, and the national STEM Ecosystems convening’s.
Both King and Blank serve on the steering committee of the North Country STEM Network and Ecosystem. The STEM Network is hosted by Clarkson University.