Albuquerque, NM—Blaine Bachman, a technical writer and editor at RESPEC, has been awarded RESPEC’s STEM Volunteer of the season. Blaine is well-known as a natural mentor at work and in his long-time volunteer efforts.
As a speaker of Italian and German, a history reenactment buff, and a science enthusiast, RESPEC’s Renaissance Man knows many fields of study and loves to teach. Blaine has served as a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor for 25 years and delivers applied science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education by sharing his expertise in diverse subjects, such as computer programming, photography, electronics, railroading, and weather. His outreach efforts include organizing a day-long Hackathon for local undergraduate students, and he has judged at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Central New Mexico Science & Engineering Research Challenge.
Like all truly great teachers, Blaine’s favorite part of participating in RESPEC’s STEM activities for younger generations is the moment of knowledge transmission. He loves seeing “that unmistakable look of ‘Eureka!’ brighten a person’s face.” Blaine attributes his inspiration to volunteer to his grandfather and his Cub Scout Den Leader. He describes his grandfather as a caring person, who was eager to share his knowledge and expertise and patient with others. With a wry sense of humor, Blaine says, “My grandfather’s ultimate life reward was to pass away on the golf course, rather than at his office desk.”
When quoting the late Stephen R. Covey, who is one of his favorite motivational authors and speakers, Blaine comments that “Begin with the end in mind is a deceptively simple phrase. It’s a reminder that setting goals and objectives is the most important activity we can undertake as we contemplate a course of action. Helping learners set achievable goals establishes an environment of success that serves as a springboard for future learning and achievement.”
Blaine occasionally finds it necessary to address parental anxieties regarding STEM. He understands that “adults can be uncomfortable with STEM learning if they are unfamiliar with STEM topics themselves. Previewing curriculum materials for interested adults can often ease that anxiety.”
Blaine has enjoyed a meandering career that has metamorphosed across technology sectors, from COBOL programming to IT project management and beyond. He admits, “I’ve always been in awe of people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and ended up doing exactly that. The rest of us need all the help we can get. My math talents and mechanical aptitude prepared me to take advantage of other, often unsought, opportunities that surfaced from time to time. I want those who I mentor to consider that they are more than just programmers, or math whizzes, or engineers.”
RESPEC is very proud of Blaine Bachman and his consistent efforts to inspire younger generations with the value of a STEM education. Congratulations, Blaine!