Research Connection highlighted Dieuwertje Kast as a STEM Educator and how she is including current research in her classrooms.
Quote for the Article: "I love being the STEM translator for researchers," she told us in an interview. "I love seeing what current researchers are working on so that I can bring that into my k-12 classrooms as lessons and inspirations. I think it is vital to be able to understand your work well enough that it can be explained to a non-science person." There's something so refreshing about a dedication to research founded in the urge to share it with the next generation who will keep it moving forward. Kast's love of marine biology--the Arctic is her next frontier for a joint research and teaching endeavor called PolarTREC--and STEM education in general, all seem to come from a sincere joy in what she does that floods (nautical pun intended) outwards, almost inevitably. But she's also the first to admit that this drive has been bolstered by impactful experiential learning through research, and inspiring mentorship. She has a few words of advice to share to students everywhere, and is living proof that you can also practice what you preach, and that those mentors are out there in people like herself:"Be your authentic self and follow your passions. Get experience in what you love there are lots of ways to combine multiple loves, especially in science. Try to get experiences in all sorts of fields...Find [mentors] who are doing what you like reach out."
This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.