Teaching is a core part of how I interact with science and where my passion for science is rooted. While I love to do original research, I think that even at the introductory level we can teach science in a way that equips students to experience that joy of original and expansive thought, to be excited to explore and apply ways of solving problems and finding the answers to proposed problems, and to undermine their own beliefs limiting their ability to tackle hard problems. In the classroom, I strive to teach beyond the material so that each student becomes a better learner more equipped as they leave my classroom than they were when they entered to problem solve, to learn, and to understand their own learning.
I am especially passionate about creating innovative introductory astronomy education materials that build investigative skills in inquiry based learning exercises measured through formative assessment. Many students get to the university level thinking that they hate math or can't do science and while I treasure upper division astronomy and physics for the skills I gained through those courses, the introductory level of astronomy and physics are rich in opportunity to undermine detrimental and deeply held beliefs that math and science are just too hard for some people, which is so accepted in our society.
EDUCATOR EXPERIENCE (from CV)
Instructor of Record for Astronomy 103, Summer Collegiate Experience Program, Madison, WI Summer 2022
Introductory course designed for non-majors covering the basics of Astronomy from the big-bang to the local universe. Restructured the course from the syllabus up to scaffold student learning through compounding mental models with original lectures, a contemporary astronomy project, quizzes, weekly tutorials and related homework content, and formative tutorial style learning evaluations over three course modules. Content includes stellar birth to death cycle, galaxy formation and evolution, big-bang nucleosynthesis and cosmological expansion.
Mentored TA in creating one set of tutorial materials of the five assigned and in running weekly interactive group tutorial sessions. Course was taught in an intensive setting with daily meetings for first-generation incoming first-year college students over a six week condensed semester.
Participant in Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning program, Madison, WI August 2021-May 2022
Research Mentor Training - weekly learning community with readings and case studies where I further developed my mentoring philosophy and techniques through discussion and integrative discussion.
Beyond Rhetoric: Developing an Ethical and Equitable Teaching Practice - semester-long course focused on implementing progressive, radical, anti-racist pedagogy into teaching practices.
Guest Lecturer for Introductory Astronomy Course, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO May 2022
Guest lecture to undergraduate students and interactive activity on sun-like stars’ stellar structure and Doppler events in the solar photosphere presenting original undergraduate research project.
Coach for Science Olympiad Solar Power Event, Hamilton MS & West HS, Madison, WI Aug 2019-May 2021
Met weekly with 5-10 students at Hamilton Middle School and West High School in an after-school setting to teach them basic thermodynamics, energy and heat transfer, environmental conservation, and sustainability practices for competition. Wrote exam for and proctored one event per year. Coached them in the design, build, and testing of a solar capture device to a state championship first place finish.
Teaching Assistant for Astronomy 170, Madison, WI Fall 2020
Wrote weekly synchronous group activities for large non-majors class covering cosmology, dark matter, and dark energy. Collaborated with Professor Christy Tremonti to develop content for the course and make structural decisions in creating effective content within the asynchronous structure during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis.
Mentor to Middle School Student in Astronomy Project, Madison, WI Spring 2020
Worked with one other graduate student to mentor a middle school student in a semester-long astronomy project measuring Betelgeuse’s brightness during its most dramatic dimming on record. Taught the basics of star formation and observational techniques culminating in her creating a light-curve matching AAVSO data.
Guest Lecturer & Grader for Astronomy 170, Madison, WI Fall 2019
Graded weekly quizzes and long writing assignments and proctored exams for a non-majors writing focused class covering cosmology, dark matter, and dark energy. Gave class lecture for when Professor Christy Tremonti was away traveling.
Tutor for CU Athletics in Astronomy, Physics, Philosophy, and Math, Boulder, CO Jan 2017-May 2018
Education Research with Dr. Ben Brown, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Feb-Dec 2017
With funding from an ASSETT grant focused on integrating technology into undergraduate courses, wrote lesson plans, homework assignments, and modules to better utilize the Fiske Planetarium in developing spatial understandings for Undergraduate Astronomy students.
Undergraduate Learning Assistant, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Fall & Spring 2015, Fall 2016
Taught two weekly recitations of Astronomy 2 (ASTR1020) and assisted in weekly tutorials and held office hours for Physics I (PHYS1110) and Mathematical Analysis (MATH1112).
Guest Science Educator for 4th and 6th Grade Classes, Boulder County, CO Aug 2015-May 2016
Developed, organized, and taught a series of three lessons on energy conservation and physics concepts. Lessons focused on conservation of energy, electronics, solar system, and earth-moon-sun models.