Kenny Bae

Engineering, Science and Innovation

BS, Eastern Illinois University

MS, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Kenny Bae received his BS degree in Physics, Radiation, and Applied Physics with a Math minor from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, defending his research on the ‘Measurement of Small Ice Crystals in Arctic Cirrus.’ Kenny is passionate about working with students and using their learning difference as their superpower. While teaching high school physics and engineering, he received a NASA Robotics Growth Grant, designed to inspire students to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in hands-on projects. Kenny has won various awards/grants with students from engineering projects, including the 3D Printer Grant from 3D Systems and Coca-Cola, ICECF Solar School Grant, Disney Summer of Creativity Grant, NSF CISTEME365 with UIUC, Amazon Engineer Grant, and the HERlead Fellowship program. Kenny was a nominee for the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the year award in 2021. Kenny was proud to support students in winning the U.S Department of Education Green Ribbon Award in 2018. He continues to advocate for sustainable energy and healthy environmental practices. 

Kenny founded and currently coaches Wolcott FIRST team #8728 that won numerous competitions awards and grants from the FIRST Tech Challenge. The Wolcott robotics team has been invited to the National FIRST Championship event in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as conference speakers based on their innovative projects, while also being acknowledged by the Educate to Innovate White House Initiatives in 2016. The Wolcott team has been recognized by the FIRST inspire blog which is shared to over millions of people in 100 + countries. He is excited to continue to grow project-based learning with students and to expand STEM education at Wolcott. Kenny is also the organizer of the TEDxWolcottCollegePrep event this year and he’s excited to support students in planning for the event.

Born in Chicago, Kenny enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and children, planting vegetables, organizing a TEDx talk event, inventing new life-saving portable ventilators, and designing new innovative projects with students. Kenny’s work with students is recognized by Forbes Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, FIRST, WGN, CBS, actress Daisy Ridley from Star Wars, Lucasfilm, Amazon Future Engineers, and so much more.