Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
I am a biology instructor and varsity girls' basketball coach at Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, Mn.
Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to foster a scientifically literate society by helping people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Nye has spent the past 20 years educating students young and old about science and understands the importance of keeping minds active after the last school bell rings. “Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime – the important thing is that it should never stop,” Nye said. “We’ve put together fun, free and easy activities that will make this the summer of learning versus the summer filled with the dreaded words ‘I’m bored.’ ” AN EARLY KNACK FOR HOW THINGS WORK Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has done most of his life. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his classmates. While working for Boeing in Seattle, Bill combined his love of science with his flair for comedy. After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest, he became an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Eventually, Bill made the transition to comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The 18-time Emmy Award-winning show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central. During this time, he also wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.” BROADENING HIS MISSION Bill’s passion for math and science translated into a love of space. His role as CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s large space interest organization, has taken him across the globe. And one thing Bill is very proud of is the MarsDials, two sundials on residing on Mars he created with Cornell scientists. America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He’ll pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements from his wallet. And his drive for helping others understand science is as strong as ever.
Teaching and learning are my favorite pastimes! I love to learn new things and share information with others. How lucky to be able to get paid at the same time! Right now I work full time teaching people about Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Pathophysiology. I also am an online mentor and facilitate training for online learning, and the use of our CMS which is Blackboard. My husband and I live in the country with a bunch of cows, cats and a dog. We have chickens that are free range right now, but will probably appreciate their coop this winter.
I have been teaching high school science in Minnesota since January of 2002. Most of my teaching experience has been with at-risk student populations. This means that I have had to teach science to students who didn't usually want to be in school. I have enjoyed this challenge and have learned immensely from it. Making science relevant to my students is my main goal and I hope that some of those tendencies are found in any packets I create on Sophia.
For the past 20 years, I have been engaged as an educational researcher, evaluator and professor of educational policy. Areas of expertise include education reform, policy implementation and effectiveness, post-secondary attainment and socio-economic disadvantage. My publications address the social institutions and policies designed to promote educational advancement for students, especially the socially disadvantaged. Teaching and research associations over the past 20 years include the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota and Stanford University. I hold a Ph. D. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from Lawrence University.