Engaging in Education #256

Photo by Heidi Kirn during the FIRST LEGO League World Championships

How do we engage children so that they are motivated to learn? For each child, this answer is different. Today’s guests have been participating in the education of Maine children both in and out of the classroom.  Talya Edlund was named Maine teacher of the year in 2016. Jim Eickmann and Keith Borkowski are community members who work with students in the FIRST Lego Robotics and Odyssey of the Mind programs.


Talya Edlund

Talya Edlund is a former third-grade teacher at Pond Cove Elementary School and she was named the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year. This year she will be teaching 5th grade at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. She lives in Cape Elizabeth with her husband and two sons.

Jim Eickmann

Jim Eickmann is the Engineering Manager at the Corning Incorporated Life Sciences Plant in Kennebunk. He started working for Corning in 1999 after earning his BA in Physics and PhD in Optical Sciences. Since moving to Maine in 2009, Jim has been involved with science and technology in the community. In particular, he has enjoyed the opportunity to both increase interest among middle school students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and help build their skills through programs such as FIRST Lego Robotics. Jim and his wife, Liz, live with their two sons in Kennebunk.

Keith Borkowski

Keith Borkowski is the Plant Controller at the Corning Incorporated Life Sciences plant in Kennebunk.  He joined Corning in 2012. Keith has been involved with Odyssey of the Mind for 9 years in the town of Wells.  His OM involvement started as a parent.  He has been coaching for the past 7 years, and the Coordinator at the Elementary School for the past 5 years.  To Keith, OM is a great way for kids to learn and display their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills.  Keith and his wife, Margaret, live with their two daughters in Wells.