Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
I am a high school mathematics teacher in Lander, Wyoming. Currently I teach Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Statistics, but I have taught many other areas of mathematics throughout my career.
I grew up in Minnesota and went to school at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa where I majored in math education. I got a Masters of School Mathematics from Iowa State University. I love the challenge of trying to make high school students excited about math!
My husband is an elementary art teacher and we have two daughters and two cats. We enjoy getting out into the mountains and hanging out at home as a family.
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.
Kaili ZhiXian Age 16 Photographer Junior in Lander Valley High School www.flickr.com/zhixianphotography
Ms. Gowdy graduated from The Dalles High School in 1998 where she was an AP student, a member of the cheerleading and cross country teams, involved in choir, drama, and 4-H. She received her Bachelors of Science in Business from Linfield College in 2002 with a focus on international business and a minor in gender studies. As an undergraduate, Ms. Gowdy studied abroad in England where she focused on business and local architecture at the Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham England. After Linfield Ms. Gowdy spent eight years in sales, marketing and administration mainly in the legal, luxury automotive and wine industries. During this time she also focused on her volunteer work with the Oregon Humane Society, International Pinot Noir Celebration, City Club of Portland and in local schools. Her work in local schools led her to make a career change to teaching. She advanced her mathematics skills at the University of Washington in 2009 and received her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland in 2011. She was a student research presenter of her research "Gender's Role in Interest in STEM Careers" at the 2011 ORATE conference and a panel presenter for "Knowing What You Know and What You Don't Know: Metacognative Dialogs in Secondary Classrooms" at the 2011 ORA and ORATE conferences. She holds her teacher certification from Oregon TSPC as a Highly Qualified Advanced Mathematics Teacher. In 2012 Ms. Gowdy was awarded the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation Teacher Award and its associated grant for fifteen Apple iPad2s. This is Ms. Gowdy's second year at TDWHS where she teaches Living Systems through Project Endeavor, Algebra 1, and Pre-Calculus. Ms. Gowdy is also a certified Hot Yoga Instructor through the Yoga Alliance. She was also a participant in the 2012 Hells Canyon Relay. When not at school, Ms. Gowdy enjoys yoga, running, and spending time on the farm.