My back ground in education

I have experience with teaching in formal settings:

2009-2010: Instructor for Bioexplorations, Stanford University.  The Bioexplorations program was a graduate student organized and taught short-course that complemented the Introductory Biology series.  I designed and taught a two-day course with a fellow graduate student on the taxonomy of the wierd (wierd being inverts and algae).  The course involved a lecture, field trip, and lab activity.  The course was taught 3 times, Fall 2009, Winter 2010, and Fall 2010.
2009: TA for Biostatistics, Stanford University. On my own initiative, I asked the instructor if I could complement his lectures on ANOVAs with a weekly 30 minute lecture on Regressions during the discussion sections.  I design a syllabus for and taught this "minicourse."
2006: TA for Quantitative Biology, University of Chicago
2008: TA for Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Plant Biology, Stanford University
2006: TA for Quantitative Biology, University of Chicago

I have a variety of scattered experiences in informal education, mostly through volunteering for organizations while I was in graduate school:

2013-2016 Lead Organizer and Educator, Moveable Game Jam Initative
2008-2012 Scientist volunteer, Iridescent
2009-2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium, Family Science Curriculum Designer and Lead Instructor
2008-2010 Lawrence Hall of Science, Summer Camp Instructor
2006-2007 Stanford University Science Bus, Instructor

I also mentored two undergraduate students in summer research projects at Stanford University. One students developed her research into a senior thesis project under my guidance. The other student returned to the lab to continue his project for a second semester, leading to a soon-to-be-published research paper.

My teaching philosophy:

I am a strong advocate for experiential learning, learning by doing. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an interactive activity is worth a thousand lectures. This philosophy has been a part of many educational trends throughout the years: constructivism, inquiry based learning, and now game-based learning.  Games, whether or not they are educationally directed, embody experiential learning.  The first thing you do when you pick up a game off the shelf is learn how to play it.  Games have fully integrated experience with the game into learning how to play the game.

Gamification is nice, but what I'm really interested in is more than a gamified version of our current educational scheme- I want an educational game, a revolutionary and new concept.  If games can teach complex systems of interactions between different sources of magic, why can't they teach you the complex interactions of an ecosystem?  If games can teach you how to be a warrior, assassin, football player, or even a detective why can't they teach you to be a scientist?  And last, why can't we just use SimCity in the classroom to teach urban planning? I don't want a gamified science curriculum centered around facts, I want games about science centered around concepts, just like SimCity is a game about Urban planning and Civilization is a game about history.

I believe that everyone can learn math and science, given enough focus and a good instructor. Many times it is bad instruction, boring, fact-based lectures, or cookie-cutter labs that will lure even the naturally inclined away from the topic. But I think well-designed activities that emphasize experiential learning can both motivate and teach complicated topics to a variety of students.  I have been astounded how well 4th and 5th graders can pick up and gain a strong intuition for advanced topics in physics like fluid mechanics or thermodynamics (typically taught at the college level), with the right sorts of activities and approach.

Although I'm primarily interested in science education, I am primarily concerned with reaching the non-scientists.  Although our country always can use highly qualified scientists, the issue that really motivates me is science literacy.  We live in an extremely technical world in which proper engagement with the world requires a firm understanding of science. Yet many people lack, or even fight, basic tenets of science that prevent them from engaging effectively as a global citizens. I don't want to simply leave my student with a better understanding of science facts: I want them to be conversant in science, to be able to read science in the news and know how to interpret the information. 

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