What do you do?
I am the STEM evangelist and travel the world speaking to governments, school districts, nonprofits and companies about STEM. We have created a STEM ecosystem of resources, professional development, coaching and thought leadership to transform teaching and learning with STEM. We partner with schools to bring the real world problems and careers to them as the context for learning.
Why did you choose this field?
I taught high school biology, chemistry, anatomy and earth science for 20 years in Syracuse and Charlotte. I won the Miljen National Educator Award, used the money to pay for my doctorate, then oversaw STEM for 145,000 students and 13,000 teachers in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. We used STEM to engage all kinds of learners, decreased the achievement gap from 29 points to 7, and won the Broad Award for our work. Discovery Education recruited me and offered me the chance to create my dream job. Now I travel the world empowering educators to use STEM to prepare students for their future.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I was selected by STEM Connector as 1 of the top 100 Women in STEM in the US and by Diversity Matters as 1 of the top 100 Women for Diversity in STEM. I have spent my life fighting for students with no voice to get what they need, and am pleasantly surprised to be honored for that work.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I feel blessed to wake up every morning knowing I get to help educators who care about kids do a better job. I believe these educators do the best they know how, and when they know better, they do better. We are changing the world 1 classroom at a time.
Best advice for next generation?
I am a STEMinist and want girls to know that developing their STEM problem solving skills will allow them to get an engaging job and make the world a better place!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” - Marion Wright Edelman