Icebreaker/Introductions : LUSENET : Middle School Science : One Thread

Or as Austin Powers said, "Please allow myself to introduce...myself." :>)

Now that we have about 50 teachers on the e-mail alert list, I would like to ask everyone to submit a brief introduction to "break the ice." I'll start.

I am Mike Gatton, District Six science facilitator. Prior to becoming a facilitator, I taught grades 6-8 for 9 years at IS 143. As a teacher I was always driven to learn more about science and teaching and eager to share what I learned with others. That attitude towards my profession carries over to my position as facilitator, and this forum is another means of learning and sharing.

-- Michael Gatton (, October 11, 2000


Hi! My name is Justine Papierski. I have been teaching at I.S. 143 for the past three years. I have taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and I am currently teaching 7th grade. I am also working towards a Master's in Secondary Science Education at Teacher's College/Columbia. Before becoming a teacher I was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching health education in Nepal. This experience has made me very resourceful and I am willing to share any of my ideas with anyone who will listen.

-- Justine Papierski (, October 11, 2000.

I'm Stacy Douglas. My undergraduate degree is in Biology. Before teaching, I worked in a cardiology research lab at Johns Hopkins Medical School. I started teaching 7th and 8th grade science in Houston, Texas. And not to give away my age, I was there before George W. became governor. I came to New York and started teaching in another district before applying to be a science facilitator in District Six. Two years after completing my supervisory degree, I was assigned to be the science coordinator. Now starting my third year as coordinator, we have a NSF grant to enhance middle school science, a facilitator devoted to all middle schools, and curriculum frameworks.

I am a strong advocate for science education and the middle school student. My goal is to create a strong science program. This website is one of the steps in the program. Your comments are valuable. So please don't hesitate to let us know what's on your mind and to share your experiences with colleagues.

-- Stacy Douglas (, October 11, 2000.

Hi Fellow District 6 Science Teachers,

I am Susan Herzog, life science teacher at the Mott Hall School- IS223. This is my 8th year at Mott Hall. I am also the teacher in charge of an 8th grade program called STARS (STudent Apprenticeships in Research) in which 14 of our 8th grade students work in science or engineering research laboratories at City College of New York.

I am happy to have the opportunity to share teaching ideas with my colleagues in the district who I rarely have the chance to meet.

Best Regards, Susan

-- Susan Herzog (, October 12, 2000.


I'm Harvey Augenbraun. I too taught at IS 143 for 17 years before becoming District Science Coordinator and then moving on to Mott Hall where I teach 8th grade science. I will be completing my 31st year of teaching in District 6. I enjoy teaching and learning more about science. The past 5 years I have been working summers at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies doing atmospheric research and developing educational materials based on that research.

-- Harvey Augenbraun (, October 13, 2000.


My name is Jonathan Brenner and I am a second year medical student at SUNY Brooklyn. Before I entered grad school I taught middle school science at IS 143 for three years. I am constantly looking for ways to remain involved with education and feel fortunate to be involved in such an innovative resource for teachers. Please ask me questions about the human body!

-- Jonathan Brenner (, October 13, 2000.

Hello, My name is Deanna Zapata. I am a middle school science teacher in district six. I am teahcing seventh graders this year. I have a background in zoology and have worked with animals in the Central Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo and also various animal hospitals before changing carreers. This is my first year of teaching and I am open to any ideas about lesson plans, lab activities or classroom management. I hope to be in touch with all of you throughout the year. Thank you, Deanna

-- Deanna Zapata (, October 14, 2000.

Hello! My name is Natalie Berkowitz and I teach Grade 8 Life Science at IS 218. I am new to New York, however, not new to teaching. I taught 6th Grade Science some years ago (Los Angeles, CA area) before taking a 10 year adventure of different jobs and Peace Corps service. I am currently working on my MA in Science Ed. at Teachers College/Columbia Univ. I enjoy using science as a diving board for integrating curriculum. I made my first visit to The Museum of Natural History recently and just love it. Glad to be i

-- natalie berkowitz (, October 14, 2000.

Thanks all so far the contributions. I would like to remind everyone to submit your introductions by clicking on "Contribute an answer" at the end of the original Introductions/Icebreaker thread. I have moved a couple of the new threads here so that all introductions are together in one place. For those who have not used this forum before, I will also remind you that you must come to the discussion forum to post a message. If you reply directly to the e-mail alert message, then only the sender of the e-mail will get your response. Thanks again, and we still have about 40 teachers out there to hear from...

-- Michael Gatton (, October 14, 2000.

Hi, I'm Brenda Ramirez an eighth grade science teacher at IS 143. This is my second year teaching and also my second year in eighth grade science. I feel that I do my best when I work with other people. My background is in Human Biology and I want to hear more about hands on activities for children.

-- Brenda Maria Ramirez (, October 16, 2000.

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