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Local Pittsburgh Teacher Wins the NHL & NHLPA’s Most Valuable Teacher Presented by SAP for March

Scott Caplan, a local STEAM teacher at Chartiers Valley Middle School, was named the NHL and NHL Players’ Association’s Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher presented by SAP for the month of March. 

Scott received March’s Most Valuable Teacher recognition out of 20 educators from across the NHL. Each teacher was selected for their use of the NHL and NHLPA-sponsored Future Goals program, which teaches students key STEM skills using interactive gameplay and real-world scenarios.

Penguins player Casey DeSmith notified Scott with a video message that he won the title of March’s Most Valuable Teacher after receiving the most fan votes. Along with this recognition, Scott received an autographed Penguins jersey and $10,000 from SAP, which will fund new technological devices for Chartiers Valley School District.

An avid Pittsburgh Penguins fan, Scott utilizes Future Goals because of how well it covers physical science and STEM principles in a way that is fun for his students.

“My favorite part is the way the activities are set up. Just like the work we do in class there is a pretest, lesson, lab activity, collection of data, analysis of data, drawing conclusions, and post-test. All of this is done in a fun, interactive manner with realistic hockey situations,” said Caplan.

Caplan, who has been teaching for over 26 years, enjoys working with science, learning new things and passing that on to his students. His favorite part of teaching is the special moment when the ‘light bulb’ goes on and a student figures out a solution to a problem or understands a concept they were struggling with. 

According to Scott, “STEM is used in hockey in everything from the proper ice temperature, to the angle used to bank a pass, to the shape of the curve on a skate blade,” Caplan continued. “Students have commented that they knew answers to questions on standardized tests because they remember the game in Future Goals.”

Scott is one of three finalists who will be in the running for Most Valuable Teacher of the Year. Voting will begin in May with additional details to follow.