Inspiring a Love of Science
My love for science was inspired by my 11th grade science teacher, Mr. Daryl Rebuck. He taught my physiology class in a small high school in a small town in Pennsylvania. I didn’t even know that I liked science until I took his class. With his white lab coat, pencil protector pocket, khaki flood pants and signature red socks, he was the picture of the nerdy science professor – but he was anything but nerdy to me! He was passionate about teaching, funny, and helped his students develop a love for learning science. Well, he certainly had a lasting effect on me!
He inspired me to major in biology. From there I explored my love of nature by working at summer camps, nature centers, and a state park while I pursued a self-designed master’s in environmental education. I really wanted to share my love of science and the environment with others, so I worked in the education departments of Massachusetts Audubon and the National Wildlife Federation. From there I began writing environmental education curriculum for Project Learning Tree and became involved with NAAEE. I served on the NAAEE Board and became a life member, and am still involved with NAAEE today as a moderator for the eePRO K-12 Group. NAAEE has also inspired my career by giving me so many wonderful opportunities to share EE ideas and best practices with professionals throughout North America!
After many years working in nonprofit EE, I came full circle and decided that I wanted to teach students in the classroom – just like Mr. Rebuck! So, I am now in my third year of teaching environmental science to middle school students at a school in Northern Virginia. I wonder what Mr. Rebuck would think of that! I wish that I could reach out and thank him for inspiring me to find a career that I love, but unfortunately, I lost touch with him. I just hope that I am as inspirational to my students as he was to me!