I hope to help my students see themselves as scientists-in-training who can apply their knowledge and skills in the analysis of real world problems.”
Margot has always loved science. She pursued her interest in the subject by studying biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she conducted research on topics such as vaccine development, cancer, and sex chromosomes. At the completion of her undergraduate studies, she planned to enroll in either a biology doctoral program or medical school. Instead, she secured a senior research specialist position that allowed her to study new cancer treatments. While working in the lab, her interest began to shift towards science education and outreach.
Around this time, Margot began volunteering in the outreach department at local institutions, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Assemble Gallery. At her first Assemble event, she was amazed to see how the children present were inspired by a firsthand encounter with DNA. This experience cemented her decision to switch gears and to focus on science education. To gain more informal teaching experience, Margot picked up a part time job at the Carnegie Science Center, where she continues to perform live science demonstration shows that involve making explosions and freezing things with liquid nitrogen.
Upon realizing that she could effect the greatest amount of change from the classroom, Margot enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is very interested in developing curricula that incorporate real science practices and original research. Further, she is inspired by the Citizen Science movement, in which scientific pursuits are put forth by people outside of academia and experimentation is conducted via crowdsourcing.