Director, Spark! PK-12 Engineering Education Outreach
Texas A&M Engineering
Shelly Tornquist is the Director of Spark! PK-12 Engineering Education Outreach with Texas A&M Engineering. Her team strives to ignite and foster an engineering spirit from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. Dedicated to harnessing the educational power of the maker movement, Spark! was recently awarded a mobile makerspace from Andeavor, and strives to empower the PK-12 educator by offering professional development through its Maker U program. Spark! also provides opportunities for educators funded through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Teachers and connects the PK-12 community with other outreach events across Texas A&M Engineering.
Prior to Texas A&M, Shelly was a Master Teacher in Spring Branch Independent School District for 26 years and a Department Chair for Memorial High School in Houston, Texas. Always interested in unleashing the imagination of students, Shelly incorporated 3D printing in her classroom for 17 years, and was awarded the PTA District School Bell Award for her service in STEM Education.
Shelly has been a leader in engineering education in the state of Texas throughout her career. Projects include creating and leading new teacher boot camps, developing the Texas standards for the Math/Physical Science/Engineering teacher certification and most recently developing the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills frameworks in STEM education. Widely known for her work with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), Shelly served as the State Lead Master Teacher training over 700 teachers in PLTW Core Training Institutes for 13 years.
Shelly holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Design and Development and a M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership. She believes in empowering teachers, who then empower students to go out and change our world.