Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: B.S. Biology & Master of Arts in Teaching
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Secondary Science Education
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Duke University - Robert Noyce Teaching Fellowship
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Internships - Riverside High School & Northern High School - Durham Public Schools
Hello! My name is Chris Hewitt, and I am currently a graduate student at Duke University pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in secondary science education. I currently hold a Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Wittenberg University and have six years of professional experience working for the USDA Forest Service as a wildlife biologist and wildland firefighter. In the past academic year, I have gained valuable experience in the high school classroom through internships within Durham Public Schools. During the fall semester, I worked at Riverside High School teaching Standard and AP Biology; while in the spring, I interned at Northern High School teaching both Standard and Honors Earth Science and Astronomy.
Why do you want to teach:
I want to challenge and push the constraints of the traditional educational system. The world is changing, and education should not hamper opportunities for our students. It is important that young women and men be given the opportunity to utilize and apply the theoretical academic ideas we define as “education.” My greatest desire as a teacher is to both expose my students to real world concerns and actually encourage them to find and apply solutions. I want to take the theoretical and transform it into the practical. By getting my students out of the classroom and involved with both community and global concerns, I believe then and only then, can I consider myself an educator of our youth.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One of the more memorable experiences I have had in the short time I have been in the classroom was during a lesson examining what we as humans would need to survive on the moon. The two day lesson culminated with designing pizza box solar ovens as a means of utilizing solar radiation as a source of energy. I was able to see my students use principles of design and periods of trial and error to create solar ovens that effectively reflected, absorbed, and convected heat. The students took pride in their work and were able to enjoy the spoils of their trouble by cooking S’mores on a brisk, sunny February day.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Robert Noyce Program has allowed me to start a second career in one of the most noble of professions. The program has introduced me to a wide variety of other scholars who too share many of my beliefs on science education. I have been provided with numerous opportunities for professional development and have been able to present at both regional and national conferences, as well. Without a doubt, being a Robert Noyce scholar has already opened and challenged my mind as to what it means to be a successful educator.