Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
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.
I work with English as a Second Language students at Normandale Community College in MN. I think reading and journaling are some of the best ways to become better writers. M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language, Hamline University B.A. English and French, College of Saint Benedict
My name is Rebecca Oberg and I'm an English teacher (9th grade and Journalism) in Minneapolis specializing in the use of 21st century learning in the modern English/Language Arts classroom. Before teaching I attended the University of Minnesota, where I graduated Summa cum Laude with a BA in English Literature and Composition with minors in Geography and European Studies. I continued at the U of M, where I received my Masters of Education and licensure to teach English Communication Arts and Literature for grades 5-12. I have worked in urban and suburban schools, as well as with various other programs including Upward Bound. When I'm not teaching, I enjoy playing with my cocker spaniel dog Maggie as well as traveling, reading, learning Greek, and being an aunt to my two adorable nephews!
Greetings and thanks for visiting my profile. I am a lifelong lover of learning and teaching and I am thrilled to be a part of the Sophia community. My undergraduate degree is in English Literature from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, but I have taught a wide range of subjects including English, ESL, Mathematics, French, and test preparation. I have worked with students from the ages of 6 to 60, in a variety of settings across the country, from the classroom to the living room, in Oregon, California, Maryland, and Minnesota. My students have often joked that I am the consummate nerd because I love grammar, math, and taking tests, but my indefatigable love of learning does not stop there. Throughout my life I have been drawn to learn whatever I can get my hands on. I have been a costume design intern at a French opera, I have attended cooking school in Florence, and I am currently taking oil painting classes in Annapolis, Maryland. I value learning of all kinds so highly because I feel that every new skill that I learn opens my eyes to a new aspect of life. Thanks to my painting classes, I will never look at light, shadow, and color the same way again, and thanks to my costume design experience, I have learned the true power of the Pythagorean theorem! For the past four years I have been in the educational technology field, and most recently I have joined Sophia as the Manager of Content Development and Alignment. My experiences in education have taught me that each student learns differently and that learners benefit immensely from the opportunity to choose what they learn, how they learn, and how quickly they learn. I feel fortunate to be a part of company that embraces this philosophy and seeks to teach students as flexibly and as fluidly as students learn. In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake wrote: If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. This statement resonates deeply with what I feel to be the ultimate goal of teaching and learning. Our key aim as teachers and students should be to widen the chinks of our caverns, inch by inch, so that we can all see the world more brightly and clearly. I love the spirit of Sophia; I love the bravery of the idea that we can all teach and learn from each other, and that we can widen the doors of perception together. I am prou
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.