AstroSchool Spring 2022

Hello everyone! My name is Julie Anne Zdunich and I teach science in a French elementary school in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I just got my kit today and am quite excited to get started. I am sure my kids will be delighted to test all the lessons before I do them in class. They will probably also be a great help when I need to find the right way to translate all the technical terms into French. We will be implementing a new curriculum in September and am certain that I will be able to incorporate much of what we will do in AstroSchool into next year’s lesson plans.

3 Likes


Hi everyone, I’m Amy Medina! I am from Puerto Rico, a former Floridian now Houstonian. I teach middle school in Galveston, Texas. Our school is primarily Hispanic (80%), limited in resources, but with a marvelous group of teachers. I am a CTE Teacher (Business, Technology, and Engineering). This is my 12-year teaching.

I have 2 passions: space and underwater robotics. I am also a soccer fan. So exciting to collaborate with you!

4 Likes

Hello fellow educators,
My name is Kirsten Doucette and I teach in Nanaimo (on the unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw and Sna-naw-as peoples). I have a BSc. In Fisheries and Aquaculture from Vancouver Island University, though it was Malaspina University-College back then! I worked in the NGO community for several years (largely in environmental education). In 2003 I attended PDP at Simon Fraser University and began my teaching career.
Currently I teach at Island ConnectEd K-12 here in Nanaimo. We are a public school that offers blended and online schooling. At present, I am teaching Career Life Education, and Science for Citizens 11 (I have taught Junior Sciences, Earth Science 11 and more).
I am passionate about building connections and community in my school (with students and colleagues). I love to offer in-person workshops for our students that allow different ways of learning than purely online. In a K-12 school, we have a unique opportunity to offer cross curricular and multi-grade level events (which I often seem to be organizing).
Collaboration is especially important to me, and I enjoy collaborating with colleagues that teach different subjects!
My social media feeds tend to be bad puns, science stuff, pictures of my pets (cat and dog), and pictures of my family when they let me take photos (Husband and 2 teenage boys).
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn (but I think I have 2 profiles and should really fix that)
Facebook: Kirsten Doucette (kdoucette)
Instagram: kirsten.doucette
Twitter: @KirstenDoucette

3 Likes

I should add, that’s Nanaimo, BC, Canada!

1 Like

I’m living vicariously through that forest! We are at least six weeks away from that kind of understory in Southern Ontario and your photo makes me nostaligic. I just wanted to pop on and say how lucky your students must feel to have a storyteller of your caliber as their teacher. I bet they love your class.

1 Like

Hello Everyone!
I just got my kit today and I’m excited to learn with you! My name is Joanne Arcand and I’m in Burlington, Ontario. I currently teach Grade 6 in a 1200 student JK-8 school and am a Teacher Leader in this area for Let’s Talk Science, an educational outreach program supporting educators and students across Canada. Here in Ontario, there is a new Science curriculum (released yesterday) which has a much bigger emphasis on skilled trades and coding and I’m hoping these challenges help me to get comfortable beyond the micro:bit that I normally use in class.
I’m a big fan of the outdoors, but at a slow pace. Today I took my students to the forest as we normally do on Wednesday afternoons. They spent the time exploring and making log bridges over vernal pools. It was nice to have the time to watch them explore and I was working on how I might turn the coding expectations into solutions for sustainability or stewardship…and then a student dropped a log into the nearest puddle and splashed me back into reality :grin:
For some reason, images aren’t loading on my message today. I shall remain a mystery “A” while I figure it out. I’m looking forward to this journey with you!

3 Likes

Good morning - Thoughtful Thursday is upon us! I am Rachel Lyon and am a recent transplant to the Oregon Coast - teaching Biology at Marshfield High in Coos Bay. Our school is in the process of revamping our science department and changing courses offered for our students - hopefully, we will create more hands-on and community based lessons with our new curriculums. I am excited to learn more about coding and that I can help guide students through some interactive and meaningful lessons - so many students don’t see the ‘reason’ to learn content.
I taught in Nevada for about 10 years at the high school level and before that was at adult basic education. Coming to the coast is a different setting with a lot to offer - so much to learn and see at the sea and the forest! It may take me some time to catch on - I am not the best at all of this.
I look forward to the learning and to working with all of you!

3 Likes


Hi there! Finally taking a moment to complete the introductions and it is amazing to see where everyone is from:) My name is Joshua Robbins and I am a science/STEM teacher from Edmonton, Alberta Canada!

I have been teaching for 20 years and most of my time has been at the junior high level with grade 7-9 students. I love working with technology and have been working hard to get a STEAM option going at my school so when I noticed Chris Hadfield’s tweet mentioning the opportunity to apply for AstroSchool I was excited to put my name in the hat for it.

We have been playing with Microbits, Sphero Bolts, Lego Mindstorms, CAD design and 3D printing for the STEAM class but I have enjoyed finding connections with the technology and bringing them into my science classes as well. My 9’s were using microbits today to create a traffic signal and railroad crossing scenario with LED lights and that is not something I was doing with students a few years back. The lessons and activities we get to do over the next few weeks look like some more pretty cool connections to what we are teaching here in Alberta.

I look forward to learning and working with all of you! Thanks again for the opportunity:)
@vbscienceninja

3 Likes

Well, hello everyone! I am Christina Pelletier. I am located in Santa Clarita, California.
I have been married for 15 years and have three intelligent little girls. I have a B.A in Psychology and for most of my career I have worked with children with special needs as an ABA therapist working with children preschool and k-12 settings. However, for the past three years I have been a homeschool teacher. Currently teaching grades 1st,3rd and 5th and we are a part of iLEAD CA Charter Schools.
I am so excited to be a part of this amazing group of educators and I can’t wait to add these lessons into my own lesson plans. In my spare time I enjoy photography, gardening, hiking, camping, and exploring with my family.
My instagram is
Cmpelle

2 Likes

Hi everyone! My name is Nathan Tubbs, and I live in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Alabama, I have been living in NYC since 2008. I teach 7th grade science in a public school, and I also teach 3D printing for our after-school program. I have been married to Lesley for almost 17 years, and we have three kids. In addition to my duties as a teacher, I serve as a pastor at my local church, and I am a USAF reservist, serving at Joint Base Andrews in DC. I love reading, comic books, learning about space, camping, and traveling. I’m excited to be a part of this group! Feel free to follow me on Twitter/IG - @sciencenate

2 Likes

Your picture is very creative. I am also a Space Station Ambassador and Teacher Liaison Flight 18-21.

2 Likes

Hey everyone,

My name is Ian Doktor; I’m a senior science, math and astronomy teacher in Edmonton, Alberta. I’ve spent 20 years teaching science all over the globe (China, Mexico, Japan, BC and Alberta). I’m very involved in project based learning at my school and currently am working with two different groups of students; one group is attempting to navigate the practicalities of installing a PV off-grid system at our school and the other is conducting photoemtric research on Cygnus X-1. If anyone is interested in some of the past projects (or astrophotography) I’ve done with my students, some of the older work is here: http://star-scape.blogspot.com/275384182_10159363769806141_1537297483310992165_n

I also just submitted my candidacy proposal for PhD research in science education. I’m researching how socio-scientific issues can be used in classrooms to help students develop scientific literacy.

Like everyone else, I’m passionate about getting students doing science rather than just learning about science. Looking forward to learning with everyone!

3 Likes

image
My name is Pam Petersen I teach eighth grade science & STEM in York Nebraska. This is my 20th year there. Few things that I’m passionate about is space education and letting girls and underserved students know that they can be good in the STEM fields. I’m a solar system ambassador as well as a NASA ambassador for my state. One of the projects that I’m working on right now is feeding the pipeline for STEM corers with freshman and sophomore college students as a fellowship coach.

2 Likes

Dear teachers,
I am overwhelmed with your intelligence and committment! I have read every entry so far and each one gives me chills. My three sisters were teachers and now I have a granddaughter teaching 3rd grade. I truly know how hard your work is and that is why I admire you so much. Keep it up on this one month assignment. Not every day as an astronaut was all roses, but I powered through. You can do this too!
Sincerely,
John-David Bartoe
Former Shuttle astronaut, STS-51F
ASE (Funding organization) Treasurer

5 Likes

Hello fellow educators! Apologies on the late post; I’m a bit behind! I’ve loved reading about everyone’s background - such a diverse cohort with fascinating stories, so cool!

My name is Nylah Rampersad; I’m a Space Education Specialist at Space Foundation Headquarters and Discovery Center: Space Science Center in snowy and sunny Colorado Springs, CO, USA! Currently, I educate, engage, and inspire people of all ages from all over the world about STEAM in space! This includes facilitating formal education lessons, informal science experiences, community engagement events, and field trips. It also entails collaborating with astronauts - one of my favorite parts of this job!!

I have a B.S. in Biology from University of Central Florida and M.Sc. in Science Communication and Public Engagement from the University of Edinburgh. My background is in life sciences, and before my current position, I created my own outdoor science school in FL, teaching elementary school children about their backyards and all the wildlife they contain through hands-on and minds-on STEM activities.

My work in the informal education field has taught me how important it is that we support the young people of today to pursue careers and futures in STEM fields because they are the ones who will save our futures. The number of chances to do this – to inspire and excite curiosity and creativity, to fuel the desire for knowledge, to foster a responsibility for the care of our world – exponentially increases every day and it is vital we seize these chances! Every day, I strive to help inspire a new generation of individuals that are strong problem solvers, creative innovators, and passionate human beings who not only want to save our futures but are now more equipped with the skills to do just that.

Besides teaching, I am passionate about wildlife and nature conservation (especially marine life!), anything outdoors-related be it hiking, kayaking, surfing, SCUBA diving, or playing with my dog!

I am on LinkedIn, linkedin.com/nylah-rampersad, and Twitter, @NylahRampersad.

I’m super excited to be here and cannot wait to expand my knowledge base and STEAM educator community! 7MB

2 Likes

Hello everyone! I’m Nicole Lakusta, STEAM Facilitator in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. I have a passion for edtech, coding, computational thinking and have always used computers for good :smile: Although I work out of Instructional Services, I have taught grades 1-12, been an Assistant Principal, an Inclusive Ed Lead and a Community Computer Instructor. I support all our sites (23) and staff (1200) and go into schools and classrooms while also hosting a wide variety of PD.

Passionate about opening up the world to students, showing them that learning is engaging, motivating, and challenging.

My social media (Twitter, Instagram are @nlakusta), am found on LinkedIn and in various groups on Facebook/Meta. Check it all out at about.me/nlakusta

NL

2 Likes

Hello everyone…better late than never. Have not been receiving some of the emails (love my district filters), so I had to dig around to find the access. Guess I should have used my personal email…figures.

My name is Donald Perry, and teach at a Central Florida public STEM high school. This is my second year teaching high school and 17 years teaching middle school. I currently teach engineering, but have taught technology, business education, physical education, and other subjects.

I have a BA in Business Administration from Saint Leo University and a MEd in Curriculum Instruction & Technology from Grand Canyon University.

I am retired military, have an aircraft electronics background, so sort of a geek at heart. I like fixing, repairing, and creating…decided this last year to buy my own 3Dprinter and having a great time (want a larger one). I’ve had several hobbies to include skydiving, scuba diving, and motorcycling. However, teaching and life in general has put some of those on the sideline.

I tend to stay off social media, but I’m on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/donald-perry.

Glad to be here and see everyone!

3 Likes

Just noticed you are on here Ian! A friendly face from Edmonton:)

1 Like

Hey Lindsey,
This is retired NASA Astronaut Mike Foreman. I was in the program from 1998 to 2015 and flew on two Space Shuttle missions to ISS in 2008 and 2009. I performed 5 spacewalks during those missions helping to build the space station.
I hope everyone is enjoying AstroSchool 2022!
Dream Big!
Mike

6 Likes

Welcome @mike.foreman! Thank you so much for joining our AstroSchool 2022 community and making introductions! We are excited you are here!