To have earned the Presidential Award is a great honor. This distinction is only possible because of the students I work with on a daily basis. Regardless of their level or ability, they show me how science and technology, in the right hands, can help make the world a better place. This award also speaks to the importance of the work that my colleagues and I have done incorporating STEM education into environmental issues and making technology accessible to underrepresented groups.

John Cangelosi Bangor, ME | 7-12, Science, 2019

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

John Cangelosi, an educator for 12 years, teaches science and technology at Bangor High School. He teaches two STEM Academy classes—a MATLAB programming class for 10th grade students and a technology and engineering class for 11th grade students. He also teaches ninth grade earth science and 11th-12th grade astronomy. Prior to teaching, he managed a teaching and research laboratory at the University of Maine. John strives to incorporate technology into all aspects of teaching. Students use Raspberry Pi mini-computers to program networks, sensors, and actuators. His students engineer wind blades, floating turbines, and use robotics platforms. John oversees the school’s astronomical observatory where students use a telescope for research projects such as supernovae detection and galaxy recession measurements. Outside of class, the school sends dozens of students to the state science fair and other competitions. About half of those students use technology that was introduced in these STEM classes. For the past six summers, John has been an instructor, facilitator, and participant in a National Science Foundation-funded storm water management research team at the University of Maine. This institute encourages attendance from underrepresented groups in the STEM fields. Institute participants educate the public in their communities by collecting environmental data and constructing solutions to storm-water pollution. During these institutes, John teaches units on sensor building and design using microcontrollers and 3D printing. John earned a B.S. in geological sciences and a M.Ed. in science education from the University of Maine. He is certified to teach high school physical science, act as a mentor teacher, and obtain lunar and meteorite sample disks from NASA.