Brian Copes

Title: Lead Teacher
District: Hoover City Schools
Location: Hoover, AL

Brian is currently teaching Engineering at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama. He moved to Alabama in 2008 and has made significant contributions to Career and Technical Education through the STEM curriculum. He is passionate about seeing his students reach their full potential, and he infuses community service into his classroom. With Brian’s guidance, his students have developed:

  • prosthetic legs made from used automotive parts;

  • a prosthetic arm from used bicycle parts;

  • multiple basic utility vehicles;

  • a hydroelectric power plant;

  • a full size electric car;

  • aquatic wheel chairs, and;

  • a kit that joins two bicycles side by side for handy capable individuals.

Brian has led his students on five trips to Honduras where they have fit twenty amputees with prosthetic limbs that his students made in class. They also delivered three basic utility vehicles that his students engineered and fabricated. One of the vehicles is being used as an ambulance, and another was fitted with a water well drill and travels from village to village drilling for life giving water. The third is being used as a school bus by one of the schools that he has established a sister school relationship with. His students also designed, built and delivered a hydroelectric power plant to a remote village in Honduras.

There have been two full length documentaries made about Brian and his students work in Honduras. Currently, Brian is developing a sister school partnership between several schools in Honduras, Columbia and the USA. This will prepare our students to enter a twenty first century work force while providing the youth of Honduras with an advanced U.S. education.

Brian has founded a 501 C3 called Skilled Knowledgeable Youth (SKY), which spreads STEM education around the world. During the 2017-18 school year, Brian was named the LifeChanger of the Year Grand Prize Winner and received $10,000 to share with his district.

Matt KaneOrganizer