2021 California Science Education Conference

Future Science Teacher Award: Lili Gallegos

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Lili Gallegos

What inspired you to pursue science education as a career?
I am naturally a curious person and I like to ask a lot of questions. As I started working with children, I realized that they are the most curious people. I didn’t want students to simply be given the answers to their questions, but to investigate and sometimes, even come to the conclusion that there is no answer.

Why are you passionate about science education?
I am passionate about science education because I see myself in every student. Some students believe science is boring and monotonous and that was once me too. Other students love science and that is where I am at now. Either way, I believe learning should be fun, and there are endless ways to make science fun.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I hope to teach elementary or middle school in the next 5 years. I also hope to obtain supplementary authorizations in math and science.

You spent six months as a volunteer at the Science Learning Center at CSU Long Beach, a hands-on science center that children visit during field trips. How did this experience prepare you for the future?
The Science Learning Center helped me in teaching science to students. I learned that when lessons are hands-on, then students are more likely toretain what they learn. Sometimes, a science lesson is less about teaching and more about the journey students take in learning. There are times where I do less talking and more listening, and I learn alongside the students. The Science Learning Center also provided me with examples of engaging STEM lessons that I can use with any grade level.

What does this award mean to you?
I didn’t think that I would ever enjoy science. This award is validation that I can be successful in teaching science. Coming into college, science was the subject I was the most insecure about, but when I made the effort to understand science education, I started to find a love for science. This award also encourages me to continue to teach science to students in an engaging way.

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