Sitting in the stern of the 61-foot yawl sailing through Puget Sound, Emily had a brief conversation with a science teacher that helped to steer her path as an educator. Emily was a marine educator for a sailing-based science and leadership development program for students in Washington State, and loved connecting students with their watershed through experiential education. She had been working as an educator for field-based science programs for several years and realized that being a teacher would allow her to develop meaningful relationships with students and build field-based science experiences into the curriculum throughout the year.
Looking back at her science education, Emily was always drawn to the natural world and loved her biology classes but felt that pursuing higher-level science was only for the analytically minded. Near the end of her studies of art history and museum education in college, she explored how artists were using temporary installations and earthworks sculptures in ways that fused the worlds of science and art. Now as a teacher, she reflects on how her childhood preconception about what a scientist looks like or what it means to be “good at science” did not reveal the truly interdisciplinary nature of the field. She works to dispel these misconceptions in her classroom and to let her students know that the world needs creative and critical thinkers from all backgrounds who feel empowered to use the scientific process in innovative ways.
Emily is continually impressed with how GEM has adapted to support STEM education for K-12 students in the community, while still setting aside resources and time to remove financial barriers for students in higher education through the generous scholarship program. Emily is honored to be a part of the GEM team as the Director of Scholarships and is excited to see where the future takes them.