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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

2015 MAVEN Educator Ambassadors

Meet the 2015 MAVEN Educator Ambassadors:

Carmen Andrews

Carmen Andrews

Carmen Andrews
I came to public school teaching as a second career, after having worked as a clinical microbiologist, computer programmer and adjunct college professor. I was motivated to bring my STEM knowledge into public schools. I began as a post-secondary educator and I have worked my way down through teaching high school, middle school, elementary school, and most recently, pre-school. I try to stay as up-to-date as possible in all areas of STEM, to provide students with the most relevant and rigorous educational experiences. I am proud that several of my students have been awarded top prizes at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair in recent years. I will always be passionate about learning new concepts and practices in STEM fields. Recently, I have attended conferences and workshops that teach about space phenomena and exploration by human travel and remote sensing. Last summer I was fortunate to be selected for Honeywell’s Space Academy for teachers. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in which I did actual training exercises for astronauts. I will never forget my first, last and only 4-G spin and a unique backwards zip-line drop into a lake to mimic a parachute jump. I have also used the NASA site to prepare lessons and units for my middle school students. The resources are excellent because NASA vets them for rigor, relevance and authenticity. Most importantly, my students really like them and find them to be very effective in helping them master challenging astronomy and engineering concepts and practices.


Luis Avila

Luis Avila

Luis Avila
Currently, I am a Career and Technology instructor for McAllen Independent School District at Memorial High School. I have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from St. Edward’s University, a Master’s degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville in Computer Science and hold Texas Educator Certificates for Technology Education 6-12 and Mathematics 8-12. I also was recently published by the Teach Engineering organization for curriculum developed in STEM education. I had the opportunity to work with various educational institutes as a mentor, colleague, and teacher. As a teacher, I have had the opportunity to work one to one with students and be directly involved with the organization of course curriculum. Currently, I teach Graphic Arts Design, Principles of Manufacturing and Engineering Design and Presentation. In the near future, I plan to offer an AP course in Computer Science. My responsibilities are to teach the subject content, manage classroom and production labs, distribute and grade all assignments, prepare study guides for lecture and laboratory exams, and enforce district policies. I actively work with diverse student populations to help them master the course curriculum and encouraged them to succeed in the course and future professional goals.


Cheri Barrera

Cheri Barrera

Cheri Barrera
I am a 6th and 7th grade teacher currently teaching science at Rawlinson Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. This year will complete my second year of teaching in the Northside Independent School District. In addition to teaching, I am also the mother of a rambunctious first grader and am a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science Education degree and a STEM certificate with Northeastern State University and the NASA Endeavor Teaching Program. I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2013 and I have an expected graduation date from NSU in December 2015. I love astronomy and space science and my career goal is to work as a curriculum specialist with NASA Education.


David Black

David Black

David Black
I currently teach 6-12 science and technology classes at Walden School of Liberal Arts, a K-12 public charter school in Provo, Utah. My courses include astronomy, astrobiology, chemistry, physics, earth science, forensic science, computer science, media design, video production, and 3D animation. I combine authentic astronomy data with digital art software to do fun and engaging activities. In astronomy, my students use trigonometric parallax and the modulus formula to find the distances to stars. They build a 3D model of the nearby stars out to 13 light years. They create enhanced color images using narrowband photos of Mercury from the MESSENGER probe, and study Martian geography to look for possible landing sites for rovers. They build 3D models of space probes, and download MOLA and LOLA 3D data of Mars and the Moon. They created 3D animations of the origin and features of the Moon for the NASA Lunar Science Institute and models of Mars probes and terrains for the Mars Exploration Student Data Team program. They are building a 3D model of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. Four of my students participated in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP), where they traveled to Caltech during July 2014 and learned how to access and analyze infrared images from the WISE mission. They studied K-giant stars that might be consuming their own planets and created a poster of their findings, which they presented in Jan. 2015 at the American Astronomical Society conference in Seattle.


Gary Bodman

Gary Bodman

Gary Bodman
I have been an educator for 8 years, changing careers and moving into the public school system as a science teacher.


Eileen Bradford

Eileen Bradford

Eileen Bradford
The daughter of a high school teacher, Eileen Bradford was raised in rural Trinity County, California and attributes her love of field biology and environmental education to many formative experiences there. Trained as a field naturalist at Shasta College and Chico State, Eileen logged many miles on northern California’s rivers, wilderness areas and lava beds, until she eventually decided to follow in her father’s (and brother’s) footsteps and become a public school teacher. Eileen has been fortunate to work with several small, rural communities in northern California, including the seven tribes in Covelo, the farm communities of Flournoy and Live Oak and in the rapidly growing urban Sacramento/Elk Grove area as well. When she’s not with students, Eileen can be found developing curriculum to highlight local parks and reserves, or skiing, gardening, camping and kayaking with her spaniels and friends.


Kellee Brandenburg

Kellee Brandenburg

Kellee Brandenburg
During my years as a public school student, grades 1 through 12, I had very little confidence in myself and did not think it was possible for me to be able to take and pass science classes. I feared and loathed science. I also never imagined myself as a teacher, but my youngest son would change that for me. He taught me to love teaching and I also learned to love science along the way. I began in a teaching program, as he got older, and immediately decided to become endorsed in science. I took Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, and Anatomy I, because I wanted to be well rounded in my knowledge of science. Little did I know, I was just beginning to learn. I taught my first 5 years at the elementary level on the Navajo Reservation, where I made sure I taught science with the enthusiasm that I feel for the subject. I also became our school science fair sponsor. I now teach 6th grade science, and have found my home and my passion. I would not change my life or my career for any other. I am always learning new things about science and try to instill that desire to be curious to my students.


Alison Buescher

Alison Buescher

Alison Buescher
The influence of a good teacher can never be erased. I want to be the teacher that helps my students go from good to great! I earned my bachelor’s degree in 7-12 Science Education (emphasis physics and chemistry) from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln in 2001 and graduated with a Master’s of Applied Science for Science Educators degree (emphasis Natural Resources) in 2014. I have the privilege of teaching in the rural farming community of Pleasanton, NE and working with a phenomenal group of students. I am passionate about science education and believe that all students are naturally scientists. My teaching style is a balance of direct instruction strategies, partnered with engaging activities and real life research partnerships with local universities.


Robert Campo

Robert Campo

Robert Campo
I am a doctor of education starting every morning teaching gifted middle school students Science at Saints Peter & Paul School; during the afternoons I teach Astronomy to students working toward their high school equivalency diploma as well as associate degree students at Erie Community College; in the evening I teach adult leaners at Hilbert College. I am a member of the Curriculum Council of Williamsville School District where I have successfully advocated for an honors Physics course and an Astronomy course at all three high schools. I have written a book on education administration which has become a useful reference source in NY. My three children have been my inspiration as well as my test subjects for every curricular idea.


Michael Cengia

Michael Cengia

Michael Cengia
I am a math and engineering teacher at Northglenn High School in the Denver area. I have a mechanical engineering degree from Ohio State University and worked for 2+ years at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado primarily as a thermal analyst on MAVEN. I was also fortunate to work on Juno and GRAIL programs while at Lockheed Martin before going into education. I teach at a STEM high school and enjoy coaching and teaching both math and engineering (Aerospace and Capstone) courses.


Linda Childs

Linda Childs

Linda Childs
I grew up in Texas wanting to be a medical doctor, just like my dad was. I never imagined I’d teach earth-space science. My background is biology but my first ever teaching position was 7th grade ESS. I fell in love with the science that year and have never looked back. The first half of my teaching career was spent in middle schools, teaching ESS and physical science and as I began to learn more and more about the Earth and astronomy, I decided to head to high school and see if the upper level courses were my forte. I was fortunate enough at both high schools to write and implement an astronomy curriculum for upper level students not only for my classroom but for the district as well. Being so close to Kennedy Space Center, my students and I were able to take part in many NASA educational programs. I decided to pursue my graduate degree in curriculum and instruction in science as I enjoyed the writing aspect, too. Since then, I have written for the county as well as government agencies but my passion remains in the classroom. I am now at Florida Virtual School and enjoy the one on one aspect with my students even though it’s quite different from the traditional classroom. It also allows me to take part in my own children’s schooling as a volunteer. My kids, Stephen and Sam, both have a love for science which I am very grateful for!


Julio de Jesus

Julio de Jesus

Julio de Jesus
Julio de Jesus was born in Caguas Puerto Rico and became interested in science early in school. He teaches Biology and Earth/Space Science and conducts workshops for teachers. He specializes in teaching science using real-time data from weather, satellites and ocean buoys.


Patrick Devine

Patrick Devine

Patrick Devine
I am a retired (2014) middle school math teacher with 34 years of classroom experience, with 26 years in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I have been a sports official for 43 years. I have worked as an instructor for the New Mexico Museum of Space History’s summer camp (now called Rocketeer Academy) since 1999. I have taught students in grades 4-12. I hold a BA in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts of Teaching.


Ed Donovan

Ed Donovan

Ed Donovan
In 1969, I received a BS in Secondary Education Biology & General Science from SUNY Geneseo. I received a MS in Biology from the University of Connecticut (1975). I earned my Ph.D. in Science Education with a minor in Environmental Science from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL (1982). I am originally from New York, but have lived and taught in NY, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Colorado and South Carolina. I am a NASA Educator and have attended several Mars launches. I am an active member of NSTA and the South Carolina Science Council. Since 1985, I have presented more than three-hundred science workshops to South Carolina and other U.S. science teachers. I have also presented science in Russia and Saudi Arabia. Since 1969, I have taught approximately 31,000 students. From 1985-1997, I was a Professor of Science Education at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, SC. In 1997, I left USCS to return to K-12 science teaching. From 1997-2011, I taught Science Lab to fifth through sixth graders at two Intermediate Schools, and for six years I taught physical science at James F. Byrnes High School and Byrnes Freshman Academy located in Duncan, SC. I retired from K-12 science teaching in 2011. Since 2011, I have served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate located in Spartanburg, SC. I presently teach Freshman Biology Labs for science majors and non-science majors and will be teaching Physical Science to non-science majors in the fall 2015 semester.


Tamika Ervin

Tamika Ervin

Tamika Ervin
Tamika Ervin is currently a classroom Science Teacher at Jackson Middle School located in the beautiful city of Houston, Texas. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Secondary Science. When not in the classroom, she can be found hiking local nature trails, painting or building something. Tamika is the youngest child of two. She grew up in a small town called Whitehouse, Texas were her family still resides.


Wendy Esch

Wendy Esch

Wendy Esch
I am from a small town in Wisconsin called Shawano. I went to college at UW Madison and have a degree in Geology and Geophysics as well as a degree in secondary science education. Shawano is 30 miles to the west of Green Bay, home of the Packers. I grew up in Shawano and I am so fortunate to be working in my hometown. This will be the end of my 23rd year of teaching science. I teach physical science to the freshman and have upper classmen which are in astronomy and geology. I developed the astronomy and geology classes myself. Next year, our district is rewriting curriculum to align to NGSS. I am in the process of developing a required year long earth and space science class which will be offered to students to take sometime during high school.


PJ Friello

PJ Friello

PJ Friello
Phyllis Friello is a long time resident of the East Coast. She graduated from the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. with a B.S in Biology and Environmental Science. She then continued onto Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and earned the degree of Master of Science in Biology, with an emphasis in systems monitoring and energetics. She served as Chief Scientist for the Northeast Monitoring cruises and later the Education Manager for the Chesapeake Bay Lewis Webb Study Center in Norfolk, Va. She then worked as a research scientist and manager at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. She earned her teaching certificate in Secondary Science through the Baltimore City Teacher Residency program in Baltimore, MD. She has been teaching science for Baltimore City Schools since 2009 and will be teaching Physics and Environmental Science at the Baltimore School for the Arts. For the last three years she has applied for and been awarded Baltimore City Sustainability grants with which she developed the “Artfully Green” program integrating science and the arts. She is a Honeywell Aerospace Educator, completing Space Academy in June, 2013, a master educator for NASA’s Airborne Space Program, and a Siemen’s Star fellow. Her interests include figure skating, which she began in graduate school. She is a two time International and three time National Adult Figure Skating Champion.


Joan Gillman

Joan Gillman

Joan Gillman
I have been fortunate to be a teacher for the past 33 years. Most of my experience has been in the middle school grades. I began my teaching career in the South Bronx where I taught 5th grade. Other experiences brought me to a public school in NJ where I taught 4th and 5th grade science. Recently I have been teaching middle school science as well as an 8th grade math elective at The Calhoun School in New York City. Throughout my teaching career, I have been highly involved in curriculum development. Since I am a strong advocate for interdisciplinary education, I have tried to implement this philosophy into the courses I have taught. Throughout my teaching career, I have had the pleasure of giving workshops at the annual ATIS- Association of Teachers in Independent Schools Conference, the NSTA- National Science Teachers Association Conference, the first STEM Conference, and the STANYS- Science Teachers Association of New York State Conference. In addition, I have had several articles published by ATIS, STANYS, and NSTA. “A Teaching Tip” was published by ATIS, “Constellations are Out of This World- A Historical and Present Day Look at Constellations and the Stories Behind Them” was published by STANYS, and “Straw Rockets are Out of This World” was published by NSTA. Last year, I taught an astronomy workshop to middle school and high school teachers at “Math for America.” As I continue my teaching career, I look forward to instilling a love of learning in my students.


Kania Greer

Kania Greer

Kania Greer
I came to education late in my career with a strong background in the social sciences. Through my work with teachers providing Professional Development I discovered an unknown love for science and have been hooked ever since. I have always been fascinated by space and astronomy and want to bring that fascination to teachers and students through professional development. I want to inspire inquiry into teachers so they can inspire students and vice versa. Currently, I work with the Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education at Georgia Southern University, where we are working with schools districts across Georgia (and the United States) through grant funded projects to integrate authentic learning into classrooms. Hobbies include, working with local animal rescue, reading, and traveling (whenever I get the chance).


Angela Groves

Angela Groves

Angela Groves
I’m a science Teacher with 15 years of teaching Science in grades 6 through 8 with inner city students in a Title 1 school. I developed a love for flight and space science in 3rd grade during a field trip to the Wright Brother’s Museum in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. I graduated from Cameron University in May 1998. I became a Teacher to inspire others. I moved to Fort Worth, Texas in August 2000 to teach middle school science. Education opened up many opportunities. I have had the privilege of being a Texas Christian University Andrews Institute Teacher Quality participant for 6 years. I have a passion for space exploration and enjoy sharing my experiences with others. Most of my professional development hours are space science driven.I believe I effectively relate to students of diverse backgrounds and I tailor teaching methods to suit individual needs. I am a Mom of 3 young adults; Bryce, Lindsey, and Erika and Nan to my 2 year old Granddaughter, Rylan. Besides space science, I enjoy road trips, the night sky, camping, canoeing, photography, Dallas Mavericks, concerts and almost anything outdoors.


Maryann Hospelhorn

Maryann Hospelhorn

Maryann Hospelhorn
Ms. Hospelhorn has degrees in physics and education. She started her professional career as an engineer and project manager specializing in radiation effects on electronics and worked on various satellite and defense programs. She joined the staff at Sandia National Laboratories where she continued her work on radiation effects before transferring to the environmental division where she worked on programs related to disposal of Sandia designed components and low level radioactive waste disposal. During her time as an engineer, Ms. Hospelhorn saw the need for assistance in developing and implementing STEM education in the public schools and wanted to participate more directly in training the next generation of scientists and engineers. She earned a Masters degree in Education and started a career as a middle school science teacher. During her tenure she has trained and collaborated with various programs including the Air Force Research Lab La Luz Academy, the Pulsar Collaborative based at the National Radio Observatory Green Bank, and Project Lead the Way. She used these collaborations to develop new programs and curriculum for the science and technology classrooms as well as for enrichment programs. She also teamed with the technology teacher to develop an after school robotics program that has sent teams to VEX and BEST competitions. Ms. Hospelhorn has a life-long interest in astronomy and ground her first telescope mirror as a senior in high school. She and her husband can often be found outdoors on clear nights looking through one of their 4 telescopes.


Carol Kendall

Carol Kendall

Carol Kendall
Carol Kendall enthusiastically shares all that she can about the MAVEN mission. She gives her students inquiry based opportunities to discover, thus helping them realize that they can be part of a space mission. Involving her students in the Dancing Lights contest at LASP and taking part in the workshop, Mars Through Time, encouraged her to incorporate more space science in her classroom. Carol served as Teacher Advisor for Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!, the MAVEN education program for grades 3-5. For the past 13 years, Carol has worked for the Douglas County School District in Colorado. She has taught science in grades K-6 for seven of those years and co-chaired the science fair. Volunteer work for the US Army Corps of Engineers is a favorite activity. Carol has lived in a number of states and in Alberta, Canada. Hobbies in earlier years included soaring, mountain climbing and cave surveying. After graduation from Stephens College and with a concentration in geology from Missouri University, she worked from a number of years analyzing seismic data in the petroleum industry. For the past 20 years, Carol and her husband have lived in the Denver metro area. They have two grown children. Hobbies include swimming, hiking, gardening and cooking.


William Knopf

William Knopf

William Knopf
I have been an educator for over 15 years and have taught a wide variety of Science and Math courses. For the last 4 years I have been working with Maryland State Department of Education as a STEM Master Teacher for summer PD workshops and conferences. Also I have developed STEM lessons for MPT, NOAA, and Maryland Business Roundtable. I enjoy challenging the students and making lessons student-centered.


Diego Martinez

Diego Martinez

Diego Martinez
Diego Martinez earned a degree from Adams State University in chemistry/secondary education in 2007. He began his teaching career at Antonito High School were he taught an in- and after-school scientific research class. During his years at Antonito, he cultivated a program that supported an International Sustainability World Engineering Environment Energy Project Olympiad gold medalist in the 2nd poorest rural school district in Colorado. In 2010 he became a teacher liaison for the Space Foundation and in the same year, Diego began working at Center Schools (a turn-around rural school district in the state) with a small team of dedicated science/math teachers that secured a reputation for scientific research earning “San Luis Valley Regional Science Fair School of the year” six years in a row. While working as a classroom teacher, he has also worked to secure grants for the science program such as the United Space Alliance grant. He seeks out various opportunities for scientific research students such as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, which provides another platform for scientific research students to experience the arts through scientific research. In March 2015, Diego received the Lockheed Martin Colorado State Science teacher of the year award for his continued work with under-represented groups. Diego is a first generation STEM student who has helped lead his school to win “School of Opportunity award” Silver recognition, one of only 7 schools with this distinction in the country.


Elizabeth Materese

Elizabeth Materese

Elizabeth Materese
Although I went to a liberal-arts college and earned degrees in history and psychology, I am a life-long science nerd with a passion for spreadsheets and data-analysis, and a tendency to approach problems as if they were research questions. I crave to know the “why” behind phenomena I encounter. Sometimes, I make metaphors out of scientific concepts (most recently describing familial relationships through free-body diagrams), but other people don’t always get them. I am the founding science teacher and lead science curriculum developer at Central Queens Academy Charter School. In the past eight years, I have taught science at every middle school grade level (5-8), and have dedicated my career to low-income, minority students and English Language Learners. I am passionate about social justice, and believe that closing the Achievement Gap for students from underserved communities is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time. I also believe that, as a classroom teacher with the ability to create, select and implement learning opportunities for my kids, I have the power to engage them, excite them, and have a lasting impact on their academic and professional careers. For all these reasons, I am deeply invested in curriculum development, especially when it is project-based. I want to inspire a love of inquiry in my scholars, and provide them with authentic research opportunities that will give them a sense of what scientists actually do. I want my students to be able to envision themselves in STEM careers one day.


Danielle Miller

Danielle Miller

Danielle Miller
Danielle recently completed her ninth year of teaching science. She’s taught middle and high school earth and space, life, integrated, and physical science, along with astronomy. Danielle’s passion for space has been obvious since high school when she took two years of astronomy courses and attended Space Camp in Huntsville for the first time. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a degree in Earth and Space Science Education. Students in her classes learn about space in authentic ways, building and launching rockets, chatting on Google+ and Skype with astronauts, taking photos of earth from the International Space Station, examining real moon rocks, and researching and writing award winning essays about NASA missions. Outside the classroom, students have participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the IBM Think exhibit at Disney’s Epcot, taken annual trips to Kennedy Space Center, proposed, designed, built, and launched a weather balloon satellite, and used the Kepler Space Telescope to present research at American Astronomical Society meeting through the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program with Caltech. Danielle is always learning and has attended Honeywell Educator Space Camp, interned at Kennedy Space Center with Ground Systems Development and Operations, and coordinates and presents STEM Saturdays for 3-5th grade students the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum. Danielle also coaches an all girls robotics team and the astronaut challenge team. She also sponsors the National Honor Society and Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science Club.


Debbie Morgan

Debbie Morgan

Debbie Morgan
Debbie Morgan is an enthusiastic Utah educator with a passion for science and technology. She earned her degree in B.S. in Geology from Utah State University and her M.S. in Geoscience from Mississippi State University and has since spent the last thirteen years inspiring science students and advocating for more rigorous hands-on science curriculum. She is also a technology trainer and coaches teachers on how to best integrate technology into their curriculum and classroom. After having left her science teaching position at a middle school to become a technology trainer for seven school districts, she decided her love of students and science was just too much to ignore. Happily she will be fortunate to have the best of both worlds this fall as she resumes a position as a science teacher and district technology coach.


Judith Lucas-Odom

Judith Lucas-Odom

Judith Lucas-Odom
I have been teaching science for 20 years in the middle and high school settings. I have taught grade levels k to 12 and on this journey I have been able to bring the love of science to my students through the use of inquiry and the engineering process design. I am currently teaching Earth and Space, Biology, Physical Science, and Environmental Sciences in middle school. My goal is to see the glow of my students when they finally get that spark, that “Ah Ha! makes sense” moment, like when they build a model of a satellite or make their first robot rover move! I consider myself a role model for young ladies to encourage them to work in science related fields. I also enjoy helping teachers get that spark for science. I currently am a STEM Science Teacher Leader through NASA and PA-STEM Initiative and I have been involved with training and mentoring science teachers for 20 years in the districts that I have worked: Philadelphia and Chester Upland Public Schools. Recently working with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards to help teachers plan their science lessons. I have been given the chance to work one on one with NASA scientists at Wallops Island, Langley Airforce Base, and Goddard Space Flight Center through NASA Explorer’s School programs and have been able to take this knowledge back to spark my students, parents, and fellow teachers through workshops and science night outs. I have been involved for seven years with PA-STEM initiative for the State of Pennsylvania which brings Stem into the classroom for every child no matter what their abilities are. I have also presented lessons and teaching strategies for teachers new and not so new at the National Science Teachers Association conferences, regional and national for the last five years.


Scott Shankweiler

Scott Shankweiler

Scott Shankweiler
After ten years of engineering, I decided to refocus my career on education. It was one of the best life decisions I ever made. I thought bringing my experience to the classroom would be inspiring, but instead I found students with even more inspiring stories and ideas. My most rewarding days happen when students realize the world is a bigger place than they thought it was AND that they understand it a little better. For many years I thought teaching advanced physics was the best class possible. This year I worked with one of my peers to create a brand new astronomy class as a pre-physics class offering. It has been so fantastic I may have found a new favorite class. This is a class that can fundamentally change how a student views their world – and that is the ultimate teaching opportunity! The students are so excited about astronomy that they often challenge me at the beginning of class with questions like – Did you see what happened last night? or Do you know what mission arrives later this week? I have never been more aware of current science as I have this year. It has been so refreshing to see students get excited about science, research, and new ideas. In my ten years teaching middle and high school science I have not had a more exciting year than this year with astronomy. I can’t wait until next year.


Elizabeth Torres-Rodriguez

Elizabeth Torres-Rodriguez

Elizabeth Torres-Rodriguez
I’m from the Sunny Island, Puerto Rico. I’m a middle and high school teacher in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have been teaching for twenty years. I teach earth sciences to 9th grade, biology to 10th, chemistry to 11th grade and environmental sciences to 12th grade. A lot of work here, Ah! I have a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from Medica Science Campus, University of Puerto Rico and a Certification on Meteorology Sciences from Penn State University. I’m working also with Puerto Rico Space Grant-NASA at the University of Puerto Rico. We have a project with public school around the Island, and I’m the Weather Stations Coordinator. Our project is a part of study on Heat Island Phenomena in Puerto Rico; our goal is that all school on the Island have a weather station, and training teachers and students. I live in the north part of the Island (in the middle), my husband (Angel Hernandez) is Instructor Pilot of Blackhawks with the Florida National Guard. I also have two cats (Camilla Victoria and Bunny Lou). My passions are being with my family, traveling and enjoying the outdoors of my beautiful Island. I’m so excited to be a part of this workshop, this means so much to me. I have always been excited to teach science and learn along with my students. I am passionate about immersing teachers in scientific inquiry experiences. I believe that the best thing about teaching is knowing that I can be a positive, motivating influence in the lives of young people.