Philip Downes, sixth grade teacher at James H. Bean School in Sidney, believes that his background as an electrical engineer has enabled him to view teaching as a "problem-solving activity." He also considers it important to reverse the isolation of living in a rural community and has established an amateur radio program called "Reach Out to the World." The program has enabled his students to communicate with ham radio operators worldwide who have a wide range of life experiences to share, as well as with students in classrooms throughout the U.S. On February 10, 1994, Mr. Downes' students had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they successfully contacted the space shuttle Discovery and spoke at length to astronaut Ron Sega. "I believe that the students in my classes have realized that a very different world exists beyond the one they know here in Sidney, Maine," says Mr. Downes.
1972 Northeastern University, B.A.