Perhaps one of the most difficult posts to write when starting a new blog is the first one! Thus, in order to get this one under our belt, we decided to just write a short bit more about ourselves than you will find on the About Us page. Our next post will be a bit more about Edjro and how we came up with the idea, along with a more in depth look at our goals and the purpose of starting this site and blog.
Rosanna: As I mention on the About page, I am an elementary education teacher with experience teaching multiple grade levels in multiple states. I have a passion for working with children and seeing them learn. For me, the passion to teach started at a very young age. I dreamed of becoming a teacher since I was in second grade. I was fortunate to have teachers throughout my own personal education that inspired me and served as role models. I still think about those educators and the experiences they provided me. I can remember books we read, activities we did, and how special they made me feel to be their student. I want a student to think back on their time in my classroom and have the same feelings and memories.
Each year in the classroom I strive to build a classroom community. I strive to make my classroom a space a place where the students can learn, make mistakes, have fun, and even struggle. I know and have experienced the joy of having a lesson or activity go well. The moment when your students are so engaged and excited about learning that you can’t help but feel proud. However, I have also experienced the difficulty of trying to find or create lessons that result in these special classroom moments.
Let’s be honest, it can be hard and sometimes overwhelming to create or find an activity that aligns to your objective. Especially with today’s ever changing standards, state testing, and goal to meet the needs of all learners. I have personally experienced these feelings of stress and frustration when planning for the week. I have spent hours scouring online or creating my own resources to meet my needs. That is why I want to help create resources and share ideas that can provide all teachers with an opportunity to create memories and experiences for students that they will remember. Experiences that will inspire a child to become an engineer, computer scientist, mathematician, author, or possibly a future educator. My goal is to provide opportunities in my classroom which will create lifelong learners and good citizens.
Jason: Ever since I was a child, I have been in love with science. In the fourth grade, my science fair project was a study of greenhouses and whether having convex or concave glass would produce different results. I built two separate greenhouses and placed them both under a large heat lamp to observe the results. In the fifth grade I built and infrared remote control (separate transmitter and receiver) and tested what materials infrared could penetrate (placing the materials between the transmitter and receiver). My fascination did not end there and I continued science projects throughout grade school and high school. Some of my favorite lessons in high school came from science projects in Physics class, including building a car powered only by a mousetrap, building a tower out of exactly 200 toothpicks and wood glue (measuring how much weight it could support) and building a paddleboat out of only cardboard (my lab partner and I actually sailed it in a local pond for extra credit!)
Within my overall fascination of science, I have an especially deep connection with space. Perhaps more than any other field, I was enthralled with space exploration. I watched nearly every launch of the Space Shuttle and closely followed the missions. I was devastated in 2003 when the orbiter Columbia broke apart during reentry into the atmosphere but I was not deterred from pursuing a career in space exploration. The thought that people could step foot on another planet in my lifetime inspired me to push even harder. Thus, it came as no surprise to anyone that when it came time for college, I chose to attend Purdue University and major in physics. I believed studying physics would be the fastest route for me to reach the pinnacle of my dreams and work at NASA.
However, after a year in physics it started to feel like I was in the wrong field. I loved the science but for some reason I lost that inspiration factor. I got a part time job working in the High Energy Particle Physics lab at Purdue and worked with some incredibly intelligent physicists. I helped build sensors for the Large Hadron Collider and should have felt right at home. Nevertheless, something just didn’t feel natural and in the end, I switched my major to computer science (although I kept my work at the particle physics lab until I graduated).
Even after switching to computer science, I pursued a career with NASA and got accepted into a NASA internship in 2007. After a summer at Johnson Space Center, I felt sure this was where my future was. Unfortunately, much of NASA’s manned space mission ended shortly afterwards and I was forced to search for other careers. Today, I am a computer engineer and have worked in a variety of roles, but mostly in security. Cyber security is an interesting and incredibly challenging field and I love my day job.
In addition to science and technology, I have always been very passionate about education. Even though I write code and implement secure algorithms for a living, I believe great education is a must for all students if we expect our children to thrive and take on the most challenging issues of the next generation. When Rosanna started talking about getting more involved with STEM lessons with her class, I was excited to be a part of that progress. We were both disappointed with the lack of resources available for STEM (especially for elementary students) and certainly challenged by the removal of many science lessons from state education standards.
Our next blog post, A Deeper Look at Edjro, will address exactly what we intend to do to help educators meet the incredible challenge of teaching STEM in the modern learning environment. Although we are happy to share all of our lessons and resources pertaining to all fields, a majority of our resources will be keenly focused on science and math.