I have been fortunate to teach STEM courses at the middle and high school levels (grades 5-12). I love creating curricula, and was invited to develop my own hands-on STEM elective courses, including scientific investigation, computer literacy, engineering design, and video game design. I have also taught biology, chemistry, and general science at the middle school level. Outside of my teaching experience, I worked for three years at a STEM education research center at Southern Illinois University as a project manager and outreach coordinator. I had the privilege to lead over 20 projects, including pre-service teacher development, teacher professional development, K-12 in-school and after-school programs, K-college curriculum consultation, and presentations at national conferences. I currently run my own STEM education consulting business and work as a high school robotics coach.
Although I specialize in hands-on and inquiry-based learning, I vary my teaching style to differentiate instruction for all learners. I use projects, problem-based lessons and units, phenomena-driven inquiry, interactive and kinesthetic lessons, performance-based assessments, and various traditional approaches including worksheets, quizzes, and tests. I often ask my students for feedback when I'm trying something new, and honor the experience as an experiment. I grew up thinking that science was boring. My classes involved a lot of reading, note taking, and cook-book labs that didn't make sense to most of the students. When I went to college, I fell in love with science as a way of exploring and knowing. I was inspired to spread my love of STEM and to bring science learning to life. As a teacher, I changed up the type of activities that I did based on the content and the learning style that made the most sense to my classes. My students typically returned to their classroom to ask the question "what will we do today?" with excitement, curiosity, and a readiness to learn. They saw themselves as scientists, not because they had degrees, but because they were equipped with tools, methods, and a different way of thinking. This is my vision for STEM education, and it greatly informs my style - I want students to adopt science, technology, engineering, and math to be exciting ways to make sense of the world (and universe) around them.
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I love science teaching and learning! As a life-long learner, I am constantly taking on new STEM projects, learning new skills, and exploring new ideas. I love to camp, backpack, cook, design (and play) video games, code, and generally, create things. If you have an idea that you're struggling with, especially related to curriculum, and you're willing to collaborate, I'd love to help!