Grand Valley State University
Jeanine Gasper was born in Wheaton, Ill., and raised in south Florida. She spent three years in Sapporo, Japan, where her parents taught while she was in elementary school. Jeanine has been passionate about world travel ever since. Jeanine attended high school in Delray Beach, Fla., and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
After graduating, Jeanine worked as a field engineer with the URS Corporation, and then went to Guatemala City as the construction manager for the building of a Christian vocational school. “It was a fantastic experience, one that I hope to weave into my teaching.” Before returning to Guatemala for a second winter, Jeanine decided that she wanted to become a teacher. Upon returning from Guatemala, she attended Wake Forest University and graduated with a master’s degree in science education and a certification in physics.
Jeanine joined the staff of Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids in 2005 and started a pre-engineering program at the school in 2006. In 2008, Jeanine’s pre-engineering students developed the Handy Typer device, which helped a teacher who has lost his hand type faster and more accurately. The Handy Typer won 1st place at the JETS (Junior Engineering Technological Society) national competition that same year.
Jeanine and the physics teacher at her sister school revamped the engineering curriculum to be taught using project based learning. Students go through the entire process of designing and networking to add an alternative energy source to their school’s grid.