Regina Brinker is a middle school science and engineering teacher in Livermore, California. She believes that it is her job to have students become so interested in science and technology that they want to continue studying these fields in high school and beyond. Mrs. Brinker engages students through hands-on inquiry and collaboration. Projects range from raising trout eggs, monitoring a pond's ecosystem, sending ping pong balls into space, and building robots and ROVs to international exchanges. Mrs. Brinker's students monitor seasonal changes of campus trees; this makes them better observers of the world around them. Development of this project inspired Mrs. Brinker to create a TED-Ed talk on phenology.
Through work with PolarTREC, Mrs. Brinker plans to give students a better understanding of the interrelationships of Earth's systems. Ecosystems don't exist in isolation. Mrs. Brinker wants her students to know how our collective actions influence climate change, both locally and around the Earth, and then choose to act responsibly.