Fredi Lajvardi, award winning high school science teacher from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona.
Fredi Lajvardi, award-winning high school science teacher from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more than two decades, high school science teacher Fredi Lajvardi has engaged, motivated and challenged students by making science fun and introducing them to the field of robotics. With countless hours spent after school, mentoring and investing in the underserved students at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona, Lajvardi drew national attention in 2004, when he entered his diverse high school team in a university level national underwater robotics competition, where they not only proved their skills and ability to compete at that level, but they placed first, defeating leading universities, including MIT.

First covered by Wired magazine, their inspiring story drew attention from local and national media outlets and led to the acclaimed documentary, Underwater Dreams. In March 2015, the film was selected by President Obama to screen at the White House in honor of National Robotics Week and the launch of the “Let Everyone Dream” Coalition, a national initiative introducing new multi-sector partnerships in support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for underserved students. Their story was also adapted into the major motion picture, Spare Parts, starring actor and comedian, George Lopez as Lajvardi.

Honored with numerous awards, including the IEEE National Outstanding Educator for 2005, the Arizona Department of Education Leadership Award for 2006, and the City of Phoenix Outstanding Teacher of the Year each year from 2005 to 2009, Lajvardi has, and continues to be, a significant contributor to the increasing interest and awareness of STEM education nationwide. With an effective leadership philosophy, incredible story and a spirited passion for teaching, Lajvardi offers valuable and inspiring insight on fostering teamwork, sparking creativity and helping individuals realize and maximize their potential.

Fredi Lajvardi will address the NJSBA/NJASA/NJASBO Annual Workshop Conference crowd on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. in the Exhibit Floor Theater. The conference will take place at the Atlantic City Convention Center from Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 25-27.

About Workshop The largest training and information event for New Jersey school officials, Workshop will offer more than 200 learning opportunities, with more than 100 sessions accessible on the exhibit floor. Training will address the latest information on policy, negotiations, school law, curriculum, technology, integrative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, sustainability and other areas vital to effective school district leadership. The conference is a destination where educational leaders from across New Jersey can find solutions to the challenges they face in their school districts. Updates on Workshop 2016 programs are available at the Workshop website.

Registration/Pricing Workshop 2016 registration is now open. The cost of Workshop group registration for boards of education and member charter schools is $1,400. The group registration covers up to 14 team members, which may include school board members, the business administrator, superintendent, facilities manager, curriculum coordinator and technology director. Registration must be handled by the school business administrator. Individual member registration is $275. Business administrators are encouraged to download and review the registration instructions prior to registering.

Housing Information Blocks of rooms have been secured at a number of hotels in Atlantic City for Workshop 2016 attendees. Hotel information is listed under “Housing” on the Workshop website. Housing must also be handled by the school business administrator.

Check the Workshop 2016 website often for updates and to learn more about this year’s conference.