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Da Vinci Science Teacher Lenny Perez Honored as 2014 Math Hero

Lenny Perez, an engineering teacher at Da Vinci Science, has been selected by Raytheon to receive a 2014 Math Hero Award in recognition of his innovation and dedication in the classroom.

Perez is among 27 middle and high school math teachers from 11 states recognized this year with the prestigious honor, bestowed annually as part of The Raytheon Company's commitment to making education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) hands-on and fun. The award includes a $2,500 grant -- with a matching amount awarded to Da Vinci Science -- to enhance the school's math program.

Perez teaches two Project Lead The Way classes at Da Vinci Science: Introduction to Engineering Design and Digital Electronics. Perez, who is known for being able to fix anything, makes math real for his students by asking them to reverse engineer small mechanical objects such as a sprinkler head or Lego figure.

Student nominations, like the one for Perez of Hawthorne, CA, highlight the impact Raytheon Math Heroes have in the classroom.

"The goal was to substitute the 3D printed part with the actual part. The excitement of being able to match up the 3D printed part with the original part was priceless," said student Melynda Moreno, who nominated Perez.

Perez relies on Arduino open-source hardware boards so students can apply their knowledge in new and innovative ways. He plans to use the $2,500 matching grant to purchase a class set of Arduinos and logic probes, as well as accompany accessories (power supplies, jumper wires, etc.).


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