In Arab American Stories, a series by Detroit Public Television, Amir Abo-Shaeer (ah-MEER AH-boo-sha-EER) says, “My dad’s a landscaper but he has a Ph.D. in Physics. He grew up in Iraq, and he was groomed to go be a physicist. He graduated number one in his country in math, was a brilliant theoretical physicist but did not enjoy physics. And he embraced the American dream, which was the freedom to actually think for himself and do what he wanted to do.
“You can do whatever you want. People told me I had to be this or I had to be that, and I said, I don’t want to do engineering. I want to do this other thing—education. And it’s been wildly successful.”
After graduating in 1998 with a master’s from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Abo-Shaeer worked as a mechanical engineer in aerospace and telecommunications. In 2001, he went back to the University of California to get a master’s in Secondary Education. He then returned to his alma mater, Dos Pueblos High School, to teach and create the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy.
In 2010, Abo-Shaeer was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for “inspiring and preparing public high school students for careers in science and mathematics through an innovative curriculum that integrates applied physics, engineering, and robotics.”
Director of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, High School Physics and Engineering Teacher
Location: Goleta, Santa Barbara, CA
Steve Green: email@example.com (Communications Coordinator)
Featured on Detroit Public Television: Arab American Stories, Episode 5