Ben Owens is a former physics and mathematics teacher at Tri-County Early College High School in Murphy, NC and a 2014 Hope Street Group National Teaching Fellow. He earned degrees in physics and mechanical engineering, respectively, from North Georgia University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. After a 20-year career as an engineer with DuPont in locations across the U.S., he got his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Marshall University and then left the private sector in 2007 to teach in rural Appalachia. He is passionate about changing the status quo in education by better connecting what happens in schools to what's needed to thrive in today's global, innovation economy. Ben is coordinator of TCEC's Competency-Based Education and Project-Based Learning efforts. He is the 2017 Bridging the Gap Distinguished Teacher in STEM Education, the 2016 North Carolina Science Technology & Mathematics Center's 9-16 Outstanding Educator, and a Center for Teaching Quality Virtual Community Organizer. He has served on the Teacher Advisory Council for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently a Community "TA" for MIT's Course: "Envisioning the Graduate of the Future," and is co-author of an upcoming book on #OpenSourceLearning.