Dave Curry teaches 8th grade Earth/Space Science at Holland Middle School, Council Rock School District in Bucks County, PA; a community located in suburban Philadelphia. He also serves as the school’s PJAS/Intel science fair sponsor. Originally from the western part of the state, he grew up in Mount Lebanon just outside of Pittsburgh. Dave received his B.S. in Earth/Space Science Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) with a minor in Geology. He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Arcadia University. Some of his more interesting coursework included geology field excursions to study the morphology of the Northern Rockies as well as a trip to study the carbonate geology of Andros Island in the Bahamas. In his younger days he enjoyed kayaking on the whitewater sections of the lower Youghiogheny and spelunking deep in the self-exploration sections of Laurel Caverns. Dave has a deep love for Pennsylvania geology and shares that with his students. Prior to teaching at Holland Middle School, Dave garnered a decade of experience teaching Geology and Astronomy at Owen J. Roberts High School in Chester County, PA. During his 23-year tenure, Dave has mentored numerous student teachers and won thousands of dollars in grants and awards related to teaching Earth/Space Science. He has presented several times at the annual NSTA and PETE&C educational conferences. One of his proudest accomplishments was being selected as one of the only Pennsylvania teachers to receive equipment and training from IRIS’s Seismographs in Schools program (iris.edu). Dave’s Holland Middle School classroom seismograph has been recording seismic data nearly continuously since 2008 and picked up the major quakes in Haiti, Japan, and Chile, as well as both recent quakes in Nepal. Sometimes his students notice earthquakes before they even hit the national news. A snapshot seismic image from his school’s instrument is updated every ten minutes at this web address: http://www.iris.edu/hq/ssn/schools/view/HMPA. As evidenced, Dave values the natural connection between science and computer technology and utilizes it often to augment student learning.
Christie Orlosky is a twenty-four year veteran teacher of the Armstrong School District where she teaches earth & space science, astronomy, and biology; she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. In 2008, Christie was awarded The Outstanding Biology Teacher for the state of Pennsylvania award, as well as the Armstrong Conservation District Outstanding Educator Award in 2012. In the past ten years she has written and received numerous science grants totaling over $27,000 to enhance her teaching of science. In addition to teaching, Christie also holds the position of science department chair for ASD and is a member of the NSTA Committee on College Science Teaching. She is the junior class advisor and the varsity cross country coach, as well as a member of the district’s professional development committee and safe schools committee. During the summer months, Christie has worked with the Upward Bound Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has also developed a space camp for elementary students at Penn State New Kensington.
Christie’s philosophy of teaching reflects the following quote by Isaac Asimov: “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. She makes it a point to stay in touch with the scientific community in order to grow as an educator and keep her students and teaching peers informed. She is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association and the National Association of Biology Teachers. These are a few of the presentations she’s conducted at both the state and national conferences: Astronauts in Training, An Inquiry Approach to Teaching about the Force of Gravity, Space Cadets, and Low Budget Astronomy Projects. She recently became a member of NESTA and is looking forward to networking with a new group of educators.
Christie received her principal certification from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is in the process of finishing her second master’s degree. When she’s not studying or teaching, Christie enjoys running half marathons, gardening, watching her children compete in their sporting events, and camping with her family.
Kelly Hunter is an eighth grade Earth and Space Science Teacher at Snyder-Girotti Middle School in Bristol, PA. Kelly grew up in Aston, PA, and received her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education in Earth and Space Science in 2001 from West Chester University. After teaching in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for several years, Kelly completed her Master’s degree from Penn State University in Curriculum and Instruction with a Science Education focus while simultaneously completing the Principal Certification program in Educational Leadership. Kelly is also one of the members of PAESTA’s Teacher Advisory Committee.