Teacher Appreciation Week 2024: Ian McTavish

Teacher Appreciation Week 2024: Ian McTavish

May 6th 2024

Our first Teacher Appreciation Week honoree for 2024 is Ian McTavish, from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada! Mr. McTavish mentors FRC Team #4152: Hoya Robotics. 

How has your nominee promoted STEM within their community?

Within his school community, Ian began with only one STEM/tech class, and has grown his STEM programs to 11 this year! Ian's enthusiasm for science, technology, and engineering is contagious, inspiring people of all walks to delve deeper into these subjects. His commitment to clear explanations of mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts ensures that they develop a genuine interest in these fields. Ian's mentorship philosophy, encapsulated in the "Fail Faster" motto, motivates others to see challenges as opportunities for growth.

Ian has promoted STEM within the community with initiatives like the annual Seal for Life trip, where students present their designs to industry professionals. 

Ian encouraged our team member, Julia Drewery, to become involved as a leader, and inspired her to achieve an honorable goal. Julia states: ”I thought it would be great if we developed a program for grade 6-10 girls introducing them to programming/ STEM career paths and strong female role models. In 2014, we started a computer science program called TECHNO GIRLS, which nine years later is still going strong.” 

How has your nominee promoted FIRST within their community?

Ian embodies the mission of FIRST and presents himself as a representative of the organization with a high degree of Gracious Professionalism. He maintains strong, long-term relationships with community members and organizations, holding FIRST Robotics in high esteem. This is exemplified in the number of local organizations that invite our FIRST team to present to their groups, such as Probus and Rotary.

Ian uses his social media to promote our FRC team events across all of his platforms. The community at large gets to witness the power of FIRST Robotics at work, not only in the technical aspects of the organization, but in the heart of the organization. We are building strong PEOPLE through the use of robots! Our team events include district events,  off-season events such as STEMLY Cup, our own hosted Fall Robotics Training Camp, and all our community outreach. Some of these events include the Huntsville Fall Fair (where we reach over 1,500 people), Hike for Hospice, Band on the Run, beach clean-ups, and more.

What else would you like us to know about your nominee?

The way that Ian McTavish shows up as a teacher and mentor encompasses every facet of true leadership in making STEM education accessible within the robotics community. His dedication to student participation, creativity, clear explanation of concepts, enthusiasm for science, technology and engineering, encouragement of teamwork, inspiration for problem-solving, and above all, motivation through his role modeling, make him an exemplary candidate for this recognition during #TeacherAppreciationWeek. This acknowledgement will not only be a recognition of Ian's outstanding contributions, but a celebration of the transformative impact he has had on the next generation in STEM.

Special thanks to Alison D. for sharing Mr. McTavish's story with us!