BINGHAMTON, NY – She is a Project Lead the Way, Pre-Engineering instructor at Binghamton High School’s Pre-Engineering Academy.
Marta Gaska always wanted to be able to share her engineering experiences, and now, she is June’s Golden Apple Award Winner.
Mrs. Gaska says, “the biggest thing about being an engineer is solving problems, so there’s a lot of teamwork and and hands on activities and I think kids really like to have that here in the class. And we do math calculations, but at the same time we try to apply them to something that’s hands on. I think kids really like that and maybe don’t see that in some of the other classes as much as they do here.”
She always wanted to teach; but it was not until a relative told her about a local academy that was expanding its engineering department that she pursued her dream.
Senior at BHS and future engineering major at RIT, Dominic Beach, says Gaska is the most enthusiastic teacher he has ever had.
Dominic Beach says, “She has taught me how to think as an engineer; the KISS method, one of the greatest things I have ever learned as an engineer. Keep it simple, sometimes engineers over complicate things, she always emphasizes keeping it simple and to the point, she’s always probably one of the nicest teachers in the school if I’m going to be totally honest.”
Gaska is also the faculty advisor for Binghamton High School’s Chess Club.
Dominic Beach says, it’s very hard to do so, but Mrs. Gaska makes chess exciting.
He also says some teachers emphasize teaching the material too much, but Mrs. Gaska’s hands-on style allows the students to learn the information for themselves.
Gaska says, “So you definitely don’t want to hold their hand and guide them through every single step cause you want them to become independent thinkers, that’s what being an engineer is all about. So you give them the basics, give them exposure to different software, to new design problems that they have never seen before, you give them the tools that they need but then you have to step back and just facilitate.”
Mrs. Gaska says that she teaches the same students beginning in their freshman year up until they walk at graduation. I asked her to give some parting words for the seniors that are moving on, and she said, don’t be afraid to try something new and learn something new. You might be surprised at how good you are, once you try it.