Phone: (916) 786-2970 x7404
Degrees and Certifications:
Education: - Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Calfornia, San Diego, 1993 - Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, 2001 California Teaching Credentials: - Full Time Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Teaching Credential, Engineering and Design - Full Time Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Teaching Credential, Manufacturing and Product Development - Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development Certificate Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Certification: - Introduction to Engineering Design - Principles of Engineering - Civil Engineering & Architecture
Mr. Michael J. Waltz
My purpose is to help students become professional and highly-motivated expert learners, problem-solvers, and users and innovators of technology. To do this, I strive to create a space where students feel safe to try their hardest, sometimes failing, but always learning by doing, being creative, and having fun.
I specialized in control systems and robotics during my undergraduate and graduate education, and worked as a control systems engineer for about ten years. A couple of my favorite projects were a custom climate control system for a hospital operating room and the weapons bay door drive system for the B-2 stealth bomber.
I started my teaching career at Livermore High School from 2004 to 2017. My courses there included teaching PLTW courses in Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE), and Civil Engineering & Architecture (CEA), as well as courses in drafting, electronics, robotics, and woodworking. I also served as coach of the school's robotics team, winning the RoboFest world championship in 2008.
In 2017 I moved to Sacramento, and took a job at Rio Americano High School, where I taught engineering and wood technology. At Rio, I helped coach the FIRST Robotics Competition team, winning the Central Valley Regional in 2018, and competing at the FRC Houston Worlds in that same year.
As I write this in the Fall of 2020, I am very excited to be the new engineering teacher at West Park High School. We are starting with the PLTW IED and POE courses, and planning to add PLTW specialization and capstone courses in the next two years, to create a four-year engineering pathway. We are also planning a robotics team, as soon as the current health emergency allows competitions to resume.
I was born in Dayton, Ohio, grew up in Livermore, and live in the Sacramento neighborhood of Land Park with my wife and our two cats. My hobbies include motorsports, bicycling, PC and console gaming, and rooting for the Sacramento Kings, Oakland Athletics, San Jose Sharks, and Las Vegas Raiders.
Fall 2020 Class Schedule
- Period 1 - 8:00AM-9:00AM - Introduction to Engineering Design
- Period 2 - 9:15AM-10:15AM - Prep Period
- Period 3 - 10:35AM-11:35AM - Introduction to Engineering Design
- Period 4 - 11:50AM-12:50PM - Introduction to Engineering Design
- Hub Support - 1:45PM-2:45PM - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday