LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Archana Jain

Position: Engineering Teacher
School: Irvine High School
School District: Irvine Union School District
City, State: Irvine, CA

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Archana Jain was nominated by Hawley Woods, a member of the community.

Ms. Jain has been an IUSD teacher for more than 12 years. Prior to joining IUSD, she was an aerospace engineer for a decade. Ms. Jain not only uses her experience and impressive background in the classroom, but she also has used it to create an engineering pathway for Irvine High School. She formed the Irvine Technology and Engineering Center to give students access to rapid prototyping tools and industry software. By establishing a dynamic, project-based environment, she has helped students who may be struggling in core classes find academic success and purpose.

Ms. Jain serves as a mentor to all students. She has encouraged and inspired young women to get involved in STEM. She is a mentor for the Robotics Club, the Society of Women Engineers, the Engineering Club, Astronomy Club and OC Maker Challenge. Ms. Jain is also working as a mentor for the propulsion team for the Irvine CubeSat program, which is an after school work-based learning program in which students from six Irvine schools have successfully built a Nano-satellite, scheduled for launch this year. As a leader in the program, she led the teacher/mentor presentation at the California STEM conference. The first and second year teams for the CubeSat program from Irvine High School have been more than 50 percent female.

“Archana has embraced a growth mindset and intellectual risking taking – utilizing her real-world experience to foster a love of learning and resiliency for her students," said Monica Collunga, Ms. Jain's principal. "She is an inspiration both inside the classroom and out, introducing and engaging students in STEM.”

For more on Archana Jain, watch this video: