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 love chemistry. It is everywhere, in the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the things you have and the energy you need. I taught International Baccalaureate Chemistry, Standard and Higher Level for over fifteen years. Science education is for all people, so they can gain an understanding of the world around them. The Sophia format is an exciting way for people to learn about science in their own time and in their own way. I hope this format will inspire people to pursue science as a career. The new scientific ideas come about through learning what we currently know and investigating about the unknown. I was given a Fellowship at Rockefeller University Teacher Outreach Program, New York, NY. There I work in Bruce S. McEwen’s Lab on a project investigating the affect of neglect on the brain chemistry of mice and in Joshua Lederberg Lab’s on the fractal growth of bacillus bacteria. It was very exciting working with scientists on their investigations. I have a BS in Chemistry Education with minors in Physics and Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. I have a MS in Early Adolescent Education from Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY and my master’s thesis is “Evaluation of Mentorship Program for Science Teachers” (1994). I earned my Ed.D. from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, my doctoral dissertation is: “In Their Own Voices: African American Students Talk About Rigorous Course Work, With a Focus on Science” (2008).
Oh hello there! I'm Jerry Kessler. I just graduated from the University of Minnesota in Morris with a degree in Physics and a minor in Chemistry. My philosophy on learning is this: If you can't grasp the concept, you will never comprehend the calculations. If you can grasp the concepts and make an accurate model, the calculations will be easy. I definitely consider myself a visual-based learner--I internalize graphs and models much easier than a description. I'm especially interested in material science, optics, and relativity. Let the learning begin!!! muahahaha!!