We are delighted to welcome our new Innovation Space Teacher, Mr. Sam Gerlach. As the Innovation Space Teacher, Sam will be working with students at every grade level, both in the labs and in the classrooms. Through the application of design thinking (including Benchmark's own design thinking language that we created in 2020) and innovative collaborations with other teachers, Sam will help us advance our commitment to integrating innovative practices with Benchmark’s traditional research-based approach. Sam is a recent graduate of New York University, and has taught in the Cheltenham School District.
Sam, who the students are already calling "Mr. G.," started this week, and is filled with enthusiasm for the role. He says he's most excited about working with kids of all ages, and believes kids can find life lessons through their work in the labs. He says, "You get to have fun. There's a different emotion that comes about when kids are at play, and you build confidence in yourself. There's a sense of 'I did that!' when they've created something new. You really have freedom. That's what I was yearning for when I was their age."
Looking ahead, Sam is hoping to be able to invite parents into the labs after COVID, to bring them closer to the work and showcase the engagements that can take place at all levels.
Welcome, Mr. Gerlach!