Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Science Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Physics, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of Arizona
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
I spent the first half of my school career in northeast Ohio and moved to Phoenix for high school. The University of Arizona was an obvious choice due to their excellent research opportunities, but I fell in love with teaching the first nerve-wracking time I got up in front of a middle-school science class to teach them how to graph.
Why do you want to teach:
I went to a college preparatory high school in Tempe, AZ, and fell in love with physics (thanks to an amazing and creative physics teacher). When I started at the University of Arizona in fall of 2008, I knew I wanted to study physics, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. When a professor asked me to help out with an outreach activity (Physics Phun Nite), I realized how much I loved doing demonstrations and seeing the wonder in the kids’ eyes.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
The most memorable teaching experience I have was part of an air pressure demonstration with the Physics Factory. This 10-year-old girl volunteered to step into the “vacuum” (a large garbage bag that is held closed by my hands while the air is vacuumed out). Turns out, she was blind, and had no idea what we were doing the rest of the time, as most of our demonstrations are visual. When she felt the full pressure of the air, she couldn’t stop smiling and giggling. The thought still brings a smile to my face.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program allows me to continue working toward my degree without any additional loans this year. It also affords me the opportunity to give back to those who need my help most after I receive my degree. In my opinion, working with underprivileged youth is the best motivation, and the most rewarding experience for a teacher.