Cheryl Forster teaches Earth Systems and Chemistry at West High School, an inner-city school in Salt Lake City, Utah. She knew she wanted to teach high school students while working as a material engineer. She had the opportunity to help a local 4th grade class with their science fair projects and was inspired by the kid's excitement and energy for science. During her 20 years as an engineer in industry, she realized the need for more scientists and engineers and started teaching adults, then college students, and finally high school students. She teaches her students about the real world applications of science and how rewarding it is to work as an engineer, solving real-world problems through teamwork and innovation. Ms. Forster hopes to influence technically minded students to consider a career in science or engineering.
Ms. Forster received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Oregon in Chemistry and Geology. Her PhD is in Materials from Penn State University. Besides teaching, Ms. Forster spends her time with her husband and two teenage sons—skiing, playing tennis, hiking, and mountain biking.