Salmen High School
300 Spartan Drive
Slidell, LA 70458
I'm A.J. Balatico, and I teach Physics, Chemistry, Dual Enrollment Chemistry, and Environmental Science. This will be my sixth year teaching, and my third year at Salmen. My dream as a teacher is to cultivate the creative gifts of all students, to make the world better than we find it. Science and engineering must have a social conscience. These pursuits, with the right intentions, help bring humanity together. With this in mind, I want students to be able to go forth boldly into the world, prepared to become leaders in their fields.
I mentor the best Louisiana high school robotics team, 1912 Combustion, a partnership between Salmen and Northshore High Schools. Salmen students of all backgrounds are encouraged to join. We meet all-year; from September to December our focus will be our FIRST Tech Challenge team, 10335 Hellion, when we program an 18x18x18 inch robot controlled by Xbox controllers and Android phones. From Janurary to April, we focus on designing, building, and competing with a 120-pound robot capable of a wide variety of tasks. During the summer, veteran students continue to refine their design skills and compete in off-season events while serving the community across Slidell and the Southeast Louisiana region. Throughout the year we demo for many local schools, community organizations, and sponsors such as NASA.
Additionally, I co-sponsor the Salmen Book Club! We meet monthly in the library. Read widely. Read deeply.
Science Department Chair
Master of Arts in Teaching - Louisiana State University - 2015
Bachelor of Science - Neuroscience - Tulane University - 2012