Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biological Sciences and Biological Sciences Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Science, grades 6-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
North Dakota State University
Current academic or teaching status:
Graduated May 2016
School and school district:
Student Taught: Cheney and Liberty Middle School; West Fargo High School, West Fargo Public Schools
I am from a small, rural town in North Dakota. I began college at North Dakota State University in 2011 majoring in Biology and Chemistry, planning to pursue a career in the medical field. I was highly involved in a variety of campus organizations that revealed my passion for leadership and working with students. Each door that was opened kept leading to opportunities that involved working with students, education, and leadership. I added a second major, Biology Education, to my junior year and was a student teacher in West Fargo. It has been very reassuring for me that pursuing education is one of the best decisions I have made. I wake up excited to go to school each morning and leave inspired by the students and valuable mentors around me.
Why do you want to teach:
My true passion lies with impacting and empowering young people with both the knowledge and skills they will need to pursue their own dreams. By becoming a teacher, I will be able to best use the gifts that have been given to me to serve students. I love collaborating with other educators to design engaging and authentic lessons. I am also really looking forward to getting involved in extracurricular activities at my future school. I hope to someday advise student leadership programs or maybe even coach! At the end of the day, seeing the students learn and grow is what inspires me to keep working hard to provide them with the educational experience they deserve.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
A memorable moment from my student teaching experience was kicking off a pandemic STEM unit. Before school started, the teachers dusted down the lockers, hallways, and bathrooms with an invisible “germ” powder. When the students came into the room the lights were off and black lights were turned on. Those students who had germ powder on their hands represented the spread of a disease. We brought in emergency management planners from the local county public health department and hospital. It was such a fun and engaging way to kick-off the STEM unit in which the students would be putting together emergency plans in the event of an Ebola outbreak in the city. In science, the students would be researching Ebola and the epidemiological triangle. In math, the students learned about exponential growth and disease spread. In social studies, they learned about past epidemics and designed interactive maps of disease spread on National Geographic Mapmaker. The English component of the project focused on keeping an online notebook about their research and presentation preparations and delivery skills. Another one of my favorite weeks of student teaching was when the students turned the classroom and hallway into the different biomes found on Earth. They hung vines and stuffed animals from the ceiling and even got to make a sandbox for the desert. The students then spent the rest of the week “traveling” to each biome in teams, participating in engaging activities to learn about each. Overall, my most memorable moments lie in the simple, yet inspiring things, that happen each week at school such as a student making you a bracelet or handing back a student’s first “A” on a science test.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
Being a part of the Noyce Scholars Program has been a tremendous blessing! As a pre-service teacher, the Noyce Scholars program has exposed me to valuable opportunities that have helped to prepare me for a career in STEM education. I have been fortunate enough to attend the 2015 Noyce Connections Conference in Omaha and will be attending another this June at the Kennedy Space Center. These conferences have exposed me to engaging instructional methods for capturing the minds and attention of students. Networking and collaborating with other STEM professionals has been one of my favorite aspects of the program! Noyce connects you with other passionate and driven educators inspiring a movement of innovative STEM education across the country. It has also financially provided me with the ability to pursue a second major in Science Education extending my undergraduate career to five years.