There are STEM rockstars all over the Southwest and today’s guest is one of them. He is also a STEM evangelist and striving to make our programs more inclusive. While we just recently met Shawn Hardina, our perspectives and experiences in STEM enrichment are parallel; us in New Mexico and him in Arizona. He has a lot of great ideas on how we can radically change STEM education and make a difference in our future workforce so listen in here!
Shawn Hardina has been asking hard questions, solving problems, and challenging the status quo his entire life. Having been successful in school, but not particularly fond of the traditional education process, Shawn decided to become a science teacher to transform education and make it something that he wished he had growing up. Shawn has been on this journey ever since.
Shawn has been in education for 27 years as a science and CTE teacher and a FIRST and VEX robotics coach and mentor. He has a wide range of experiences having been a K – 6 Science and Literacy instructional coach, a certified Kagan Cooperative learning instructor, keynote speaker, a community college and university education instructor, National Board Certified in Chemistry, a Project Lead The Way Biomedical Sciences Master Teacher, and entrepreneur.
In 2014, while still teaching, Shawn founded the East Valley Robotics Academy to provide robotics experiences for families in Arizona, which was bought out by STAX3D in 2016. Using his personal experiences and struggles as a catalyst, in January 2019, Shawn created Innovation Tech LLC to utilize his robotics experiences to bring together education, career exploration, workforce development, and economic development; and to specifically help create opportunity and bring more inclusion, socially and economically, to individuals with disabilities.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant