At Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, science teacher Melanie Lynn Chambers fosters students' independent and critical thinking skills through hands-on projects that connect math concepts with real-world issues and problems. Before becoming a teacher, Chambers worked as an electrical engineer for the U.S. Department of Energy and an electrical and computer engineer in the private sector. Chambers incorporates technology into every lesson, such as a computer ethics program that her students developed for an imaginary corporation with 60 employees. Much of Chambers' instruction focuses on ethics in the information age, and she has given several presentations to students, parents and the community on topics such as hackers, viruses, copyright abuse, slamming, scams, spam, chip theft and privacy. She created her own Web page to aid student learning, and has contributed her skills as a Webmaster for school and community partnerships including a grant project that provides summer jobs for low-income high school students. More than 200 parents attended an event organized by Chambers to better acquaint them with the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS™). Such efforts have helped at least 90 percent of her students pass standardized state tests and have led to an increase in TAKS scores. Her outstanding instruction has inspired many of her students to pursue college degrees in engineering and other applied sciences.
1989 Texas Southern University, B.S.