Advisory Board for The Great Race Global Collaborative Classroom Project

A project of this significance and scope needs a wide range of experts and advisors. We are pleased to announce that the following people have agreed to contribute their expertise to this project. The Advisory Board continues to grow, and will eventually include representatives from all disciplines and grade levels, as well as from various industries and organizations.

Advisory Board Members in Alphabetical Order

Pete Border, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics

Pete Border has a Ph.D. in particle physics, but lately he has been working on a combination of game design, education, and physics — which he finds really fun. Pete has taught the enormous freshman physics courses at the University of Minnesota many times and has taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as an adjunct. He has been fascinated by computer games since finding “Adventure” on the campus mainframe in the late 1970s and has recently been involved in game programs at several schools in Minnesota. Dr Border will be providing guidance and suggestions for projects which connect physics and mathematics to The Great Race project, ranging from car design to video game design and physics in art!

Tommy Cassino


Automotive High School

Brooklyn, New York


Tommy Cassino teaches at the Automotive High School, which has been winning awards since it opened in 1937. Tommy is actively involved in project-based learning, enthusiastically helping teachers at his school to integrate the academic program with the automotive program. He presents at conferences frequently, sharing the Automotive High School's dedication to integrated, interdisciplinary, project-based learning. As a result, their school is frequently featured in the media. In addition to the links in Joe Ferrari's profile (above) please see this New York Times article, A High School Under the Hood.

Joe Ferrari

Staff Developer

Automotive High School

Brooklyn, New York


Joe is the UFT Professional Development Specialist at the Automotive High School in New York City. One of the school's recent award-winning projects was the Grease Car Project in which students are converting diesel vehicles to run on used vegetable oil. You may view a film about this project; recent screenings include Sundance Film Festival, with 'Everything's Cool' Broadway Centre Cinemas IV, SLC, January 22nd, 2007 and 2006 Sundance Summit, a mayor's gathering on Climate Protection hosted by ICLEI and Robert Redford. See the slide show and article at the New York Times web site.

Michael Hamm

Producer and Director

Frame 30 Productions

Edmonton, Alberta


Michael Hamm is the producer of the documentary on The Great Race of 1908. Please watch this excellent video about the documentary at our Great Race Wiki home page! Frame 30 Productions has been producing award-winning documentaries, television broadcasts and commercials since 1980. They actually built replicas of four of the automobiles that participated in The Great Race of 1908!

John Henry

Program Director

EIRC - Educational Information and Resource Center

Sewell, New Jersey


Program Director for EIRC’s Challenger Learning Center for Space, Science and Technology Education. The facility will be constructed green and seek to obtain LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design from the US Green Builders Council (USGBC). 2004-2005 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC with the NASA Explorer Schools program. NJ’s Technologist of the Year. Radio Shack National Teacher in Math, Science, and Technology. Problem Based Learning trainer for project InSTEP™ (Integrating Strategies and Technology in Education Practice) a U.S. Department of Education program at NASA’s Classroom of the Future in Wheeling West Virginia. Lead teacher for Woodbury High School (a NASA Explorer School) electric vehicle program participating in the Tour de Sol. Board Member for the USGBC-NJ Chapter, Co-Chair of the Education Committee and Green School Advocate for the state of NJ. Serving on the Board of Directors for NJ’s Mathematics and Science Coalition and the Alliance for NJ’s Environmental Education. Advisory committee member for Steven Institute of Technology Engineering NJ’s Future Program. Eisenhower National Clearing House Educator Ambassador, R & D Grant Recipient from the US Department of Energy in the area of solar energy.

Dr. Scott McLeod

Director UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology

Leadership in Education (CASTLE)

Iowa State University

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. Dr. McLeod is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He also is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation's only center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. Read more about Dr. McLeod.

Gary Popiolkowski (Gary Pop)


Chartiers Houston High School

Houston, PA


Carnegie Science Teacher of the Year (Pittsburg area). Gary has worked facilitating Problem-Based Learning workshops and has designed challenges for his students at Chartiers Houston High School near Pittsburgh that transformed his community. He is the master in finding local resources to provide for his students a chance to change their community by thinking out of the box. He works in environmental projects nationally.

He was active in the development of PBL online modules either by testing or helping to create them at The Center for Educational Technologies, which hosts projects such as the Challenger Learning Center, Classroom of the Future, Coal Impoundment, CyberSurgeons and more. He is characterized by colleagues as a SUPER TEACHER possessing a strong ability to lead other teachers in effectual curricular change with a nurturing, service-learning approach.

Anne Shaw


21st Century Schools

Pensacola, FL 32506

Anne is the initiator of The Great Race – a Global Collaborative Classroom Project. After learning of the upcoming Great Race of 2008, Anne realized the potential for education. Students and teachers around the world now have an opportunity to participate in a real-life, significant historic event. Anne’s company, 21st Century Schools, specializes in professional development and curriculum design. The goal is creating curriculum and designing classrooms for the 21st century, with a focus on multiple literacies, especially media literacy, multicultural literacy, ecoliteracy, financial literacy, health and physical fitness, and technological literacy. Project-based learning, connecting to the local, national and global communities, and authentic assessments are critical attributes of 21st century education. Student projects will span a wide range of products, from web sites to photo essays, filmmaking, mini-documentaries, cooking shows and more. The audience – the world! Products will be submitted to historical archives around the globe.

Mark Swiger

John Marshall High School

Glen Dale, West Virginia


Mark's background is in global education/social studies/technology education and Problem-Based Learning. Mark teaches Honors World History and Civics/Personal Finance. He is involved in a number of significant projects both in and out of school. Mark has served on numerous advisory boards including the West Virginia Department of Education's Math/Science Advisory Board. Presently he serves on the WV Department of Education's Instruction Materials Advisory Board. He served for years on a Youth Activity Board in the Upper Ohio Valley. He has worked with innovative projects for the Education Information Resource Center in New Jersey, NASA Explorer Schools Conference Problem-Based Learning Workshop, the NASA Classroom of the Future at the Center for Educational Technologies, and is working on a number of Green Projects.

WV High Tech Consortium Foundation's CITERA Project (Comprehensive Information Technology in Education in Rural Appalachia) Content Developer/Teacher
Marshall County Schools Formative Assessment Task Force
Marshall County Schools Differentiated Instruction Trainer
WVDE Instructional Materials Advisory Committee
Intel's Thinking with Technology, Master Trainer
Academy of Problem-Based Learning, Trainer
WV Department of Education's Teachers Leadership Institute, Staff Member

Scott Varner

Assistant Superintendent for Marshall County Schools

Moundsville, West Virginia

In addition to his duties as Assistant Superintendent for Marshall County Schools, Mr. Varner is one of the top delegates in the West Virginia legislature. Scott Varner is the Director of Vocational Education and Public Relations Director of Marshall County Schools. He has 20 years experience in education. Mr. Varner attended Ohio Valley College, Glenville State College, the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, obtaining an Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degree. He also attended West Virginia University where he received a Masters in Education Administration.

Yong Zhao, Ph.D.

University Distinguished Professor Educational Psychology

Educational Technology Director, Center for Teaching and Technology

Director, US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence

College of Education

Michigan State University

Yong Zhao is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. His is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education. Zhao received his PhD in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. His research interests include globalization and education, digital citizenship, diffusion of innovation, teacher adoption of technology, computer-assisted language learning, globalization and education, and international and comparative education. Zhao has published extensively in these areas. Zhao has been invited to present to education policy makers and practitioners in many countries including Australia, Chile, China, England, Ireland, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, the United States, and Vietnam. Read more about Dr. Zhao.