Michael Baer is a teacher of physics, integrated chemistry-physics, earth and space science at South Adams Junior/Senior High School in Berne, Indiana. He was selected as the 2010-2011 Ball State Teachers College Innovative Education Grant recipient for his project titled “Dots in Blue Water.” The grant helped purchase materials to construct a water purification unit, which will be capable of treating the water supply for one medium-sized village in Haiti. This project has grabbed the attention of the media, and it has grown from a classroom project to a school vision where the entire school community has rallied around it. Money is being raised for 12 students and 12 teachers and advisors to make the initial trip to Haiti in June. Baer has been asked if the Dots in Blue Water organization could assist in providing pure water in other parts of the world, including Japan, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. According to Baer, this “grant has helped us enable our students and school community to “Make a World of Difference.”
In 1976 Baer received a B.S. in secondary education (biology/chemistry) from Indiana University, and in 2001 he received a M.A.E. in secondary education (physics and astronomy) from Ball State University. During his 35 years of experience in education, Baer has been a successful teacher, department chair, coach, dean of students, and director of student guidance.
He has received many teaching awards, including the IU School of Education Armstrong Teacher Educator Award (2009-10), Walmart Teacher of the Year in Adams County (2007-08), National Education Association and White House Commission Distinguished Teaching Award (1987), and the Indianapolis Star Distinguished Teacher Award (1987).
Baer has also won other teaching honors that include a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship for Scratching the Surface where he participated in various paleontology, archaeology, and meteor digs across Central and Southwest United States during the summer of 2005. Currently, he is an advisor for the BrainPop online learning website and the Real Life Science Guy TV series/That’s Amazing online video resource.
In his spare time, you might find him in other creative endeavors such as composing and performing music.