During the summer of 2012, I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks living in the Arctic as part of a research team through PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating). This experience opened the door to creating even more connections and opportunities where I met and worked with teachers and scientists from literally all over the world. These opportunities had a large impact on how I teach science; it showed me the importance of connecting my students with real research and actual scientists.
While my students have benefited from my experiences and connections, I am among only a small number of teachers lucky enough to have such experiences. Working with scientists and educators from around the world has drawn my attention to the need for greater connections between students in the classroom and scientists in the field.
With the help of my mentor, Dr. Marshal Jones, I launched an effort to mesh my ideas about science outreach with my interests in educational technology. What started as mainly an informational website has slowly evolved into a network to connect teachers and students with scientists and researchers. I’m excited to be a part of helping others make broader impacts in science and STEM education.