2021 California Science Education Conference

Future Science Teacher Award: Yvonne Hernandez-Guerra

Meet Yvonne Hernandez-Guerra

To me this award means that whatever it is that I’m doing in my career I am doing right. This award shows me that I am capable of bringing science into future classrooms and expanding the interest of my students in a way that they probably didn’t think it was possible. This award to me is viewed almost as a validation for all the hard work I have put for my passion of being a science educator.

Yvonne Hernandez-Guerra

What inspired you to pursue science education as a career?
My community is what inspired me to pursue science education as a career. I found that teaching, brought a sense of community and sense of family to the South Central community, which I am from the way that teaching brings people together as a collective to learn and grow together, really inspired me to become passionate about teaching.

Why are you passionate about health and science education?
Health and science has always been one of the subjects that I’ve been most interested in. I find learning about human health and the science around us super fascinating. So the idea of teaching this to young students was the best route to go. Showing students, especially from low income areas, that science isn’t necessarily explored and learned from a lab was the best part as to why I became so passionate about science education. Seeing the kids’ faces light up when they realize that science is all around them and so attainable is why I’m so passionate about teaching science to students. Showing them that health and science isn’t just something that can be learned from a lab, but simply from the things around us.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
In the next five years, I hope to become a science teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Gaining experience as a science educator and to continue reflecting on my teaching skills and abilities to make sure that every student feels heard and seen in my classroom.

How did your experience at USC JEP’s Medical STEM program (MSP) help prepare you for the future?
My experience with USCJP‘s medical stem program really helped me prepare for when I have a classroom of my own. In this program I was able to learn classroom management skills while at the same time teaching second graders, high-level medical topics, such as cancer, DNA genetics and more, this program really pushed me to be the best educator I could be for the students in my community of South Central. And I will use these skills as I pursue my science, education career.


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