AstroSchool Cohort Winter 2019


Hi Claudia! I’m so thrilled to have a a fellow cat lover in AstroSchool!


Hi Jaime! Yay for Utah! Welcome to AstroSchool!


Welcome Ana! I love the growth mindset you pass along to your students!


Hi Daleth! Welcome to AstroSchool! I :heart:️ PLTW!


My name is Stephanie MacDonald. I live in Heber,Utah. I have been a resident of Utah since 2010. I have 4 children. My oldest daughter is in my homeroom.
I taught High School Biology and Physical Science for 4 years in Tennessee. I have taught Middle School Science in Utah for 2 years.I graduated from Mississippi State University.
I teach middle school science.
I love skiing, summer time, baking and reading.


Sorry, I am late to the party- tech issues up here.

Hi, I’m Maureen Tumenas. I live in a small town up in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts and teach down in the Pioneer Valley in Hadley. I started teaching back in grad school in the '70s, teaching plant and soil science. After my 2 children were born, I got hijacked into opening my own preschool and running that for 5 years. Since then I taught Kindergarten for 13 years at an independent school, then moved to lower school science and then lower school computer and then middle school and upper school computer classes.

I am a jack of all trades and truly a master of none. With no computer science background, it has been learn as you go- for the last 30 years or so. I am currently the tech integration specialist for the district. When I moved to the public sector I also went back to school and got an EdS in assistive tech, so that I could answer teacher’s questions about how to help their students. I currently work with teachers primarily in K-6.

  • What are you passionate about? I want to help all students learn, passionate about UDL. I also want to see STEAM become a more hands-on subject in school, not just something they read about. It needs to be integrated across all disciplines. I convinced the admin to get rid of the Gateway E-series computer lab and am in year 2 of building a STEAM lab instead.

Twitter: @bcdtech


Greetings from Redondo Beach California! My name is Liz (Elizabeth) Lowe.
I began my career journey as a research and development chemist in aerospace.
Then my husband and I raised two amazing children.
Attending all those “boring” Back-to-School Nights for my children drove me to education.
I teach at Bell Gardens High School - a comprehensive high school of about 3,000 students.
Those students are 98% Latino and more than 90% of them are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Currently I teach Geoscience - a little of astronomy, climatology, geology and extraterrestrial exploration.
After more than 30 years at the same school - I could build a case that BGHS is my passion.
I service an incredibly needy community, yet they also are the most appreciative.
I work with a passionate group of 16 science educators who strive to make science “fun & relevant” - so
much so that, 90% of the students at BGHS take 4 years of science even though the high school graduation requirement in California is two years.
Do I have a social media account??? I truly am a digital immigrant. I only just learned how to text
because my principal insisted. This is the first time I have ever contributed to a “collaborative” thread.
I hope I figured it out. :slight_smile:
Upload a picture??? I’ll need to get one of the digital experts in my department to help me with that.
I am excited to be part of this innovative cohort.



My name is Mindy Bissett and I live in Little Rock, AR. My background is Middle Childhood and Gifted Education. I am a K-5 gifted and talented teacher at 2 different schools. I love what I do. I get to teach what I want. I am passionate about getting kids excited about learning and becoming global citizens. I love connecting my students with scientists and students around the
globe. I love blending science and other curricular areas. This year I blended science and business by having my students enter a business plan contest identifying real world problems and trying to find a solution to it. I have 2 teams that made it to the state finals which are coming up on January 25th. I am so excited!


Space Camp is awesome!!!


HOW AWESOME!!! We’ll have to chat!!

Are you going to SEEC next month in Houston? I was chosen for SEEC CREW… I’m SOOOO EXCITED!!!


WAHOO!!! SPACE SISTER!! <3 Space Camp brought us together! Glad we’re reconnected here! :smiley:

You coming to SEEC next month?


No, I am not going to SEEC. We have our big annual gifted and talented conference the same month and I really enjoy it. I did not attend last year because it was in Northwest Arkansas. This year it is in Little Rock. It is the one time a year all gifted professionals across the state get together for an amazing professional development experience.


You know that feeling you have while dreaming that you are standing naked in the middle of a crowd of really smart people, wondering what the heck you are doing there, and wanting to run but you can’t… Well after reading all of your amazing bios I feel a bit like that! My heart is racing and I’m thinking…Uhhh what am I doing here…at least I’m not naked!!!
Hi my name is Loralie and I live in the mountains of Utah, and yes we are the weird family others warn you about. :wink:We live on a small family farm that, aside from Wifi and cell phones, is pretty much 99% off grid, we are 100% solar powered, raise the majority of our own food, and share our space with a bunch of wild animals - two of which I homeschool. Both are crazy for things that fly (just not the same ‘things’ or style of ‘flight’). My 17 year old is obsessed with birds of prey so naturally he’s a falconer, he is also in his second year of uni with Southern New Hampshire University. My 14 year old is a STEM junkie, obsessed with rockets, who is frustrated he can’t study on Mars - yet.
They’re cool - I’m boreing. I just pretend to be cool. I’ve taught theatre for grades K-12 for many years (I know now you’re all nervous because I obviously know way more science stuff than you, and I can shuffle off to buffalo while singing and wearing a get up that should probably be illeagal to wear :grin:). I am currently taking a break in order to help Major Tom (the 14 yr old) achieve his goal of going to Mars on a rocket he designed for SpaceX so both he and Elon can die there - just not on impact - in addition to cleaning up bird poop and sitting on my 17 year old (figuratively - It’s only physically sometimes) who would rather be flying birds than finishing his asscociates.
I am passionate about giving kids and adults the tools they need to learn and the freedom in which to use those tools without having to worry about fitting ‘inside the box’. If you want to learn something - do it - and do it how you learn best. I’m passionate about instilling a desire to learn, explore, and discover in EVERYONE - ANYWHERE!
I serve on our local library board where we are trying to offer more STEAM opportunities to those who want to learn coding, electronics, robotics, 3D printing, and many other technologies. Living in a small farming town (where the coolest robotics they’ve seen took place in the 1990’s with the introduction of the automated milking machine) makes it difficult for students to be exposed to all the amazing tech that is out there. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the small town where we live but I strongly believe that you CAN have the best of both worlds. Small town environment without the ‘small town mentality’ in my opinion opens up an entire world of Big Ideas! Changing the mindset has had it’s challenges but we are making great strides! With the help of generous donors, grants, and amazing companies like Because Learning things are slowly changing! In 2018 we were able to offer, for the first time, 3D printing and lego robotics after school programs and will be offering coding starting in February of 2019. I am so excited to learn all the cool things we can do with the sensor kit from Because Learning and hopefully be able to implement this great program in 2019/2020. I can’t wait to learn from all of you and share what I learn with the amazing kids (and adults) who will finally get to engage in some fun technology - I can’t wait to see what we can all discover!!!


Love your sense of humor - glad you’re here!


Hail State, Stephanie! I got my undergrad there!


Good to meet you, Liz. :nerd_face:
We can learn alongside one another!


Hi Debbie,
Your picture is super cute!
I bet you’re a fun teacher!!!
I love the safety glasses!


Question for anyone . . .
How do I change my username from ArdusatExplorer-4772.
I tried, and it didn’t “take”.
Do I have to earn that right as we go along???
Just curious - nothing earty shattering:rofl:


I just adjusted a setting that had changing usersnames disabled after 3 days. I just bumped to 999 days… maybe this will allow you to save?

These user preferences are accessed from the round Icon upper right corner then the gear looking icon.

Interested if this works now?


Opportunity for me to update my profile pic also