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Appleby named a "Real McCoy' educator

Release Date: September 12, 2012
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LaVetta Appleby (in white lab coat) was joined at the Aug. 24 DAPCEP award ceremony by (L-R) George McDay and LTU colleagues Valentina Tobos, Tony Sky, Glen Bauer, and Howard Davis.

Senior Lecturer LaVetta Appleby of Lawrence Technological University has been named one of the first five “Real McCoy” educators by the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP).

DAPCEP presented the inaugural Real McCoy awards for education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the medical field on Aug. 24 at the headquarters of DTE Energy in Detroit.

DAPCEP is a Detroit-based non-profit that provides STEM programming to underrepresented metropolitan Detroit youth in kindergarten through 12th grade. Along with its corporate and eight university partners, DAPCEP serves more than 4,000 students each year at no cost to its students.

“As Michigan is advancing in STEM and medicine fields, we feel it is appropriate for our organization to recognize current leaders who are innovatively advancing STEM and medicine endeavors,” said Jason Lee, DAPCEP executive director. “They are living examples to our students.”

Appleby was recognized in the science category. She teaches chemistry and is associate director of the Master of Science Education program at LTU.

“DAPCEP has given me an avenue to share my love of science with mid-school and high school students to help them reach their goals,” Appleby said in accepting the award. “It is important that we continue to support this program, so that students will pursue STEM education, in hopes that it will open up a whole new world for them.”
Lawrence Tech has partnered with DAPCEP on science education for students in grades 6-12 for more than 20 years, and Appleby has been teaching in the program for more than 10 years. One of the courses she has taught to DAPCEP students is Forensic Physics.

Appleby realizes how important it is to get students interested in the subject matter. Many high school students, especially girls, often wonder why it is important to learn physics, so Appleby has made physics part of a crime scene investigation (CSI) class.

“The students are excited about forensics, and the physics they’re learning is disguised,” Appleby said. “All they want to do is solve the case, and they get really excited.”

The DAPCEP Real McCoy Awards, which were presented by DTE Energy, are named after Detroiter Elijah McCoy (1844-1925), a mechanical engineer who invented an automatic lubricator for steam engines. The labor-saving and time-saving device was so reliable that it was referred to as “the real McCoy.” He was an entrepreneur  responsible for 57 patents.

DAPCEP is a 36-year-old non-profit organization that has impacted the lives of more than 150,000 youth with an interest in the STEM subjects. Ford Motor Company has been a key DAPCEP partner for more than 30 years. Visit the website, www.dapcep.org, for more information.