Bio of Mr Santos

John P. Santos – Technology Teacher, Augustus Hawkins High School

       Lecturer: Cal State Univ. L.A. - Technology

                         Instructor: Robotics, University of Southern California – Upward Bound Math and Science


John Santos has worked in South Central Los Angeles for over 25 years, teaching STEM Focused classes. He founded and co-founded several programs such as the Imaging Sciences and Technology Academy, at Manual Arts High School; the 2+4+C program in conjunction with Cal State L.A.; “Viva Technology” in partnership with Great Minds in STEM, a program that has provided over 122,000 with an understanding of STEM careers in 18 states and Washington DC. In partnership with Lockheed Martin, he started, “Failure is not an Option,” which helps 1st through 4th graders experience what it is to be an engineer,. He presently is in the fourth year of a pilot program which focuses on “Life-Long” mentoring for inner-city kids through a partnership with USC, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).


John assists 8 local and 6 international high school robotics programs in Robotics. In 2012 his high school students competed in an international space robotics challenge designed for universities by MIT, NASA and DARPA. The purpose of the challenge was to develop an algorithm for an autonomous robot to identify, and connect to a satellite in space. His students topped some of the leading engineering and robotics universities in the world, including all major universities in California. John’s inner-city kids finished 8th in the world.


He serves as an advisor to several government entities and academic programs. He is his school's Math, Engineering, Science and Achievement (MESA) advisor. His program has been recognized as the "Most Active Technology Program" in Southern California.

In 2008, the White House recognized his academy program as the most innovative high school STEM program in the nation of the previous 8 years. Students, who matriculate from his programs to four-year institutions, have a 72% college graduation rate over the past 18 years.


John has received numerous awards and recognitions, including, “The Outstanding Teacher of America Award”, by the Carlston Family Foundation; “The MAEStro Award” from MAES, the HENAAC “Educator of the Year Award”, “The Distinguished Engineering Educator Award“ from the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists, “The Education Excellence Award” from the Printing Industries of Americas, well as by the Paul Allen Foundation, as one of the “10 Most Innovative Engineering and Entrepreneurship Educators of the Pacific Rim.”


Two years ago Santos was awarded the “National Community Service Award” by the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s. This past spring his MESA program was named the most spirited program in California. He also was presented the “Friends of Trio Award” for his service to the students at the University of Southern California, Upward Bound Program.

Last year (2016) Santos was honored with highest award for a Latino Engineer. The “Medalla de Oro” by the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists.


Awards listed below:


1998 – Printing Industries Association of Southern California; "Educator of the Year"

2006 - City of Los Angeles; "Exemplary Educator Award"

2006 - Association of Mexican American Educators; Apple Award

2006 – Electronic Document Systems Foundation; International, “Educator of the Year”

2006 - Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards; HENAAC - "Educator of the Year

2007 - Printing Industries of America; “Educator of the Year”

2007 - Graphic Arts Technical Foundation; “Educator of the Year”

2008 - International Graphic Arts Educator's Association; “Educator of the Year”

2008 – White House Office of Innovation in Ed; Most Innovative High School STEM Program of the Previous 8 years

2009 - Southern California; “Math Engineering & Science Advisor of the Year”

2010 - USMC, Commandant's Citation; “Exemplary Educator”
(Only 3 teachers per year receive this award)

2010 - California State “Math, Engineering & Science Adviser of the Year”

2010 - Los Angeles Council of Engineers & Scientists; “Educator of the Year”

2012 – Carlston Family Foundation: “Top Teachers in America Award”

2013 – MAES; Educator of the Year; MAEStro Bravo Award

2013 – Paul Allen Foundation; “10 Most Innovative Engineering and Entrepreneurial Educators of the Pacific Rim”

2014 – National Society of Hispanic MBA’s; National Community Service Award

2015 – University of Southern California: “Friends of Trio Award”

2016 - Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists: “Medalla de Oro” Award