Noyce Scholar Profile
Carolina Acevedo Parra
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Chemistry
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Chemistry, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
University of South Florida
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Hillsborough County School District
I was born in Medellin, Colombia and moved to the United States of America when I was twelve years old. With no previous knowledge of the English language I struggled through my middle school studies. I was blessed to have great teachers that were understanding and helped me succeed despite the language barrier. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida in December 2010. While at UCF I did two years of research in remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls. I was also a teaching assistant for a year, in which I was in charge of teaching general chemistry laboratories. It was this last assignment that brought me into the world of teaching.
Why do you want to teach:
When I was a teaching assistant I found what a great fulfillment teaching was. I decided I wanted to teach because I enjoy sharing new knowledge and my passion for chemistry. I also enjoy seeing students understand and conquer such a difficult subject as chemistry. While I was a teaching assistant I found that students brought into the classroom previous misconceptions from high school. I also found that their learning motivation was shaped according to their experience in high school chemistry. This is why I want to teach high school chemistry. I want to give students an opportunity to have a good chemistry class, so that when they get to college they understand and enjoy the subject. I also want to teach to broad students perspectives of the sciences, and hopefully motivate more into becoming scientist.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
As part of my research I was assigned a high school student as my assistant. When he started, his previous knowledge in the subject was limited; therefore, he was a little apprehensive and scared to help at first. Seeing this I set my mind to help him conquer his fear and enjoy the research. By the end of the summer term he had learned so much that he was given a small research project of his own. He also decided to continue his chemistry education by taking A.P. chemistry. This stands out to me because even though at first the student was not willing to step into the learning environment, once he was in it he came on top. We both worked together, and I was able to see someone else’s passion of the subject be born.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
For me the Noyce program means hope and knowledge. Once I start teaching I want to be prepared. In order to do so I need the experience and the guidance. I believe that this education and guidance will be provided to me by the Noyce program, and by the time I start teaching I will be prepared to be a great teacher and role model.