|Teaching and outreach are just as important as performing research; science cannot continue onward without a new generation of scientists, nor can it exist without an educated general population that knows enough about science to recognize its importance and support it. Furthermore, I enjoy teaching and have taught in many contexts over the years.||
Image courtesy of Rohan Kundargi
Earth Science 101, Lab Coordinator and Instructor (Boston University) - I designed new labs, updated old ones, and taught them in addition to writing and grading exams.
Honors 135, Physics of the Fascinating (University of Michigan) - I designed and taught a course for Honors Freshmen intended to make physics more accessible by covering the physics of common occurrences, like music and sports. The course included labs and field trips to enhance the students' experience. Syllabus available here.
GLACIER Fellow (Boston University) - Through the NSF GK12-grant-funded GLACIER program at BU, I took classes on effective middle school teaching at BU and am currently working with Mr. Hess, a 5th-8th grade science teacher at the St. Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton, MA. We are working to bring contemporary science into his classroom and to make the curriculum more inquiry-based and sustainability-focused. I also occasionally substitute teach when a science teacher is absent. As part of this partnership, I am maintaing a teaching blog to share the content we generate.
TOPS (Teaching Opportunities for Physics Students) Student Teacher (MIT) - During the program, I received instruction from professional teachers then designed lessons, taught them to middle and high school students, and then reviewed the lessons' success under the teachers' supervision.
Assistant English Teacher, Kawase Middle School, Shiga Prefecture, Japan - While studying abroad in rural Japan, I volunteered at a local middle school, helping an English teacher instruct her English class and prepare the English Club for an English-speaking competition.
Planetarium Operator, University of Michigan Natural History Museum - My first job, I designed and gave planetarium shows to classes (Kindergarten through college) and the general public. I included lots of planetary geology in the shows as well as the background for any current astronomical events. I enjoyed the job so much I spent half of high school and all of college working there.
It is really important to me to excite and educate the public about science and its relevance to them. There is no better way to do this than to talk to impressionable middle school students, so I have spent a lot of time visiting middle school science classrooms, using my research in Antarctica as a way to excite them about science and especially climate change. Over the two years I have been doing this research, I have visited 28 classes (over 600 students) at 7 schools in 2 states. Most of these visits involved me going into the class, but on a couple of visits I brought other members of the research group. For one school that was more distant from our lab at Boston University I created a video presentation that the teacher showed to the students.
I maintained this connection with the students during my two Antarctic field seasons by maintaining a research blog that went from 2,000 to 13,000 views during my time as blogger. Hundreds of the students wrote letters to us in the field, asking questions and writing about the parts of my visit they found most interesting and inspiring.