Grade(s): Middle School / 9 / 10 / 11
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 graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S in Chemistry and Mathematics along with an education certification. My career began in Utah teaching junior high math and high school chemistry. I spent 22 years in the classroom as a science teacher in the Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan School District. I have taught physics, AP, honors, general and concept level Chemistry. Currently, I am a Professional Development Specialist working in the School of Education at Capella University. During the summer, I facilitate week long workshops for new and experienced chemistry teachers at Hamline University with Prof. Matt Morgan. As a team, we cover content as well as current best practices in the science classroom including inquiry and digital resources. I am also employed by the College Board as an AP Chemistry Consultant where I facilitate day-long to week-long workshops for classroom teachers. I believe one of the best ways to improve my professional practice is to network with teachers from all over the country and I enjoy the opportunities this provides.