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Bruce Wellman
2011 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Olathe, KS


Photo of Bruce Wellman, Classroom Fellow

Bio/Overview: Wellman teaches chemistry in the Aerospace & Engineering Program at Olathe Northwest High School in a suburb of Kansas City, KS.  Wellman originally planned on pursuing a degree in chemical engineering but found his passion was in teaching chemistry problem-solving rather than solving chemical production problems. His first teaching position was in rural Delaware where he worked at a public high school teaching chemistry.  Wellman then moved to California where he taught in Baldwin Park (Los Angeles County) in an urban context and started his high school’s AP Chemistry program. Wellman became interested in teaching overseas so went back to college part time to complete some additional training for overseas service while working as a Residence Director at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA.  He began working with a non-government organization that focused on development work in Africa and in 1999 he moved to France to study French so he could teach in a public school system in French-speaking Africa.   Wellman worked overseas for approximately four years and then moved back to the States. He has taught chemistry, AP Chemistry, and a capstone engineering design class on electric car construction (Electrathon).

Educational Values/Philosophy: Wellman is keenly interested in improving teacher collaboration amongst STEM teachers.  He would like to develop an improved system of using technology to collaborate over long distances and regular regional face-to-face meetings to establish a common bank of learning goals mapped to formative assessment tools.  These formative assessment tools would be constructed in many formats and would allow both students and teachers to monitor learning progress. Wellman is also passionate about improving collaboration opportunities for STEM teachers serving in a rural context where they are the only science teacher in their building.

Achievements: In 2006 Wellman received his National Board Certification in Science –Chemistry, for Adolescence and Young Adults and in 2009 he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. He also recently received an Outstanding Alumni award from the Penn State Emberly College of Science, and has earned numerous grants and scholarships.

Leadership Experience: Wellman is very involved with the High School POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Initiative which seeks to simultaneously teach core science topics and critical group process skills (see www.POGIL.org for more information).  Wellman also works with ASM International promoting the teaching of materials science and engineering topics at the high school level, and has spoken at a variety of conferences at the national and international level.

Affiliations: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, American Society for Engineering Education, American Chemical Society, ASM International, National Science Teachers Association

Education: Wellman received a BS degree in general science Penn State University and then went directly to the University of Rochester to complete a Master’s degree in education.    While in high school Wellman had a number of deaf friends and started learning American Sign Language (ASL) and continued those studies during a summer at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.  With this background in ASL , Wellman completed his Joint Educational Specialist MS Degree from the University of Rochester in conjunction with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • STEM
  • Engineering education
  • Innovation and technology
  • Career/technical education

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Last Modified: 08/16/2012