Michael Kosko is the STEM initiatives manager for Chicago Public Schools. Prior to that role, he taught high school STEM and science in the district for 10 years. He’s a vocal advocate for technology integration and using design thinking in the classroom. Michael was the second runner-up in the 2016 Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education, and is a Google for Education Certified Innovator.
In addition to teaching, Michael built and managed a hydroponic grow lab on campus where students tended herbs, mixed greens, and other vegetables for the school’s culinary arts program. He also presents about meaningful classroom technology integration (e.g., augmented reality, G Suite for Education) at various education technology conferences. This year, Michael founded One STEM Chicago, a program that connects educators and students across the city to discuss and engage in common STEM projects.
While studying biological anthropology and Spanish as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Michael taught second graders about dinosaurs (a passion of his) at the natural history museum on campus; that experience inspired him to pursue a career in teaching. He earned his master’s degree in education from Northwestern University and is currently a doctoral student in urban education leadership at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Michael is an aspiring triathlete who can often be found running or biking along Chicago’s lakefront. He’s also a voracious reader with a green thumb, which leads him to spending more time than he probably should at the neighborhood nursery, buying plants for his home garden. He’s on a never-ending hunt for the city’s best hot and sour soup.