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 teach physical science, chemistry, physics and 7th grade math at a rural, central Minnesota high school. When I first started teaching (way back in 1996) I wanted to help students become competitive in the science fields and lead productive, fulfilling lives. I have a broader passion to help students build strong foundations in math and science and maybe change the mindset of students who were intimidated by these courses. I believe that 7th grade math is so important because it is a strong foundation for the algebra the must learn next year. Plus, all these concepts are very important fundamentals to succeed in all upper level math classes. I am passionate about teaching all of my subjects well, however chemistry has special meaning to me. In chemistry, I prepare college-bound students who need this subject for their future career. Careers like nursing, teaching, industry, food, agriculture, any medical field and more. My premise is: If students can master chemical concepts in high school then they will succeed in college chemistry, in which college chemistry can be too intimidating that can hinder many from obtaining their dreams. All of the subjects I teach are challenging because they are abstract and difficult. I’m constantly evolving as a teacher to assist in student learning. Sometimes I hear teachers comment, “Why re-invent the wheel” when teachers contemplate different curriculum or strategies. But the truth is... students are changing at "warp" speed. I'm always reinventing or learning many methods and strategies to change with our students and help them learn. I’ll use formative assessments, labs, visual strategies, computer generated simulations, project-based learning activities, tutorials and video clips to help students learn the concepts.