NES Teacher Profiles

Ready to Join NES?

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It's easy!

To be a participant in NES, you must be a U.S. citizen. You must have a current valid education certification as an administrator or educator in a state or nationally accredited education institution (grades 4-12) in the United States or a U.S. territory, or a Department of Defense or Department of State school.

Join over 1,000 teachers in the NES experience.

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Teach STEM? We can help with that!

Middle and high school teachers nationwide comment on NES, and on the value it adds to their own teaching techniques, as well as to their students' interest and performance.

Teachers across the country in grades 4-12, regardless of school size, type, or geographic location, see the benefit of participating in the NASA Explorer Schools, or NES, project. NES teachers have access to free NASA classroom materials and student engagement activities, as well as educator support resources, through the NES Virtual Campus. NES classroom resources help teachers increase student interest and achievement in STEM subjects.

The NASA Explorer Schools project invests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM educators to inspire and engage future scientists, engineers, and technicians NASA needs to continue our journey.

Click on the stories below to read about the NASA Explorer Schools project firsthand from one of our participating teachers!


Meet the NES Teachers

Joan Labay-Marquez
Name: Joan Labay-Marquez
2010-2011 School: Curlington Elementary
Grade: K-6
Subject: Gifted and Talented Pullout Program
Teaching Experience: Five Years
In Their own Words: "The NES resources and materials are created and designed by NASA educators and specialists and provide all students the opportunity to explore STEM in a fun and engaging way."
  Cris DeWolf
Name: Cris DeWolf
2010-2011 School: Chippewa Hills High School
Grade: 9-12
Subject: Science
Teaching Experience: Twenty-seven Years
In Their own Words: "There are many lessons to choose from in the lesson library so no matter what a teacher's experience level anyone should be able to find something that they could easily use or adapt for their classrooms."
Chick Knitter
Name: Chick Knitter
2010-2011 School: Hobgood Elementary School
Grade: 6
Subject: Math and Science
Teaching Experience: Eighteen Years
In Their own Words: "Overall, it's a 'win, win' for you and your students! The NES content and website is user-friendly and designed to meet the needs (prior content knowledge, procedures of activities, etc.) of a teacher, especially in regard to time constraints."
  Deidre Mangin
Name: Deidre Mangin
2010-2011 School: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School
Grade: 5-8
Subject: Integrated science curriculum
Teaching Experience: Nine Years
In Their own Words: "I would definitely encourage other teachers to participate in the NES project. There is a diverse offering of materials. I also appreciate the opportunities for teacher and school recognition."
Liz Petry
Name: Elizabeth Petry
2010-2011 School: Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School
Grade: 1-5
Subject: Gifted Resource Teacher
Teaching Experience: Fifteen Years
In Their own Words: "I like how NES gave me authentic teaching opportunities that I could share with my students. And I especially liked the professional development teacher video collections that I could watch on-demand."
  Denise Duke
Name: Denise Duke
2010-2011 School: Forest Lake Elementary
Grade: Elementary
Subject: All Subjects
Teaching Experience: Nineteen Years
In Their own Words: "The NES materials have increased my students' interest and knowledge in science and will have an impact on how they will learn in the future."

NASA Explorer Schools Teacher Kaci Heins standing in front of an airplane
Name: Kaci Heins
2010-2011 School: The PEAK School
Grade: 5th
Subject: All Subjects
Teaching Experience: Six Years
In Their own Words: "I thought it was so great to get rewarded for the implementation of the materials. We don’t always feel appreciated for our hard work in the classroom."

  A woman standing beside a stream holding up a sign that says Science
Name: Mary Inglish
2010-2011 School: Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Grade: 8th
Subject: Science
Teaching Experience: Eleven Years
In Their own Words: "I was drawn to the extensive resources available with educationally rich and fascinating information about NASA that could apply to everything and got students interested and motivated in STEM careers."
Donna Rand
Name: Donna Rand
2010-2011 School: East Hartford-Glastonbury Magnet School
Grade: K-5
Subject: Science
Teaching Experience: Thirty Years
In Their own Words: "I found the NES materials generated excitement for inquiry, science exploration, teamwork and real-life science challenges where students applied science concepts to solve real problems."
  Wendy Dlakic
Name: Wendy Dlakic
2010-2011 School: Sleeping Giant Middle School
Grade: 8th
Subject: Physical Science and a STEM Elective Course
Teaching Experience: One Year
In Their own Words: "The Web seminars offered me an excellent opportunity to learn more about the specific units that NES offers that tie in well with my curriculum."

Kim Forbes
Name: Kim Forbes
2010-2011 School: Ferndale Middle School
Grade: 6-8
Subject: Technology and Engineering Education
Teaching Experience: Six Years
In Their own Words: "I liked being able to pick and choose the lessons I wanted to teach. I also appreciated the professional development opportunities with their step-by-step instructions on how to use the lessons in her classroom."
  Amanda Blough
Name: Amanda Blough
2010-2011 School: Corpus Christi Catholic School
Grade: 4th
Subject: Science, Mathematics, Religion and Integrated Language Arts
Teaching Experience: Eleven Years
In Their own Words: "I think participating in the NASA Now events and live chats were just as exciting for me as they were for the kids. The summer teacher recognition was also a huge incentive."


Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator