Karl Klimek is a dynamic educator, leader, speaker, author, and consultant who is redefining the future of education. Karl’s diverse initiatives and organizations bridge industry and STEM education, empowering teachers to challenge and equip their students for the 21st century.
Karl Klimek is a man involved in many facets of the educational community. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and an undergraduate degree in Education from Central Michigan University. Karl’s roots are in the classroom, and he has also served as an elementary school principal and an assistant superintendent.
Empowering Creative Capacities
One of Karl’s focal points has been that, “Educators and students are far more capable to utilize their creative capacities than many current environments are allowing” (karlklimek.com). When asked how educational environments needed to shift in order to allow this creativity to flourish, Karl responded that people will exceed our expectations when “the environment, more than anything, is a place where the humans feel trusted, they feel believed in, they feel empowered and a relevant challenge is put forward.” Many of the initiatives that he is involved with seek to empower teachers through professional development and provide them with the tools to empower and challenge their students.
From 3D Printers to Underwater Vehicles
Karl serves as Executive Director of Square One Education Network, a non-profit organization founded in 1995 that serves to support authentic, meaningful STEM education initiatives. Square One funds original, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities and encourages teachers and students to “incubate fresh ideas”. The organization supports teachers through a variety of methods, including thorough professional development opportunities. Cutting edge professional development is available on topics such as 3D printers and integrating STEM through the construction of remotely operated vehicles. Students who create these vehicles can compete in Innovative Vehicle Design challenges hosted by Square One. Square One also provides grants to support creative STEM initiatives that will equip and develop students to pursue high-tech careers.
“All learning occurs through the emotional state of the learner.”
the Arts in Engineering seeks to help engage students and make learning fun through engineering. This is so important because, “All learning occurs through the emotional state of the learner.” the Arts in Engineering is designed for elementary and middle school classrooms, while fitting within the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards.The program is about implementing cost effective, accessible engineering curriculum. It’s all about being creative with the resources available, rather than purchasing expensive engineering equipment or other materials. the Arts in Engineering accomplishes this through teacher training, where teachers create customized engineering curricular units based on their unique school.
In the midst of cutting edge, innovative work, Karl takes his time to do something quite traditional: host a radio show on the Michigan Business Network called Education’s Business: Taking Positive Actions. During this program, he focuses on successful collaborations between education and industry. He also discusses STEM initiatives and successful Career and Technology programs. He sees this as a way to highlight positive success stories happening in our schools that frequently go untold.