Brandon Rodriguez, Teacher Professional Developer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is an experienced educator, teacher trainer and research scientist. When so many teachers are leaving the profession, it’s wonderful to see people with the experience that Brandon has coming in. I also have a friend, Cathy, who has recently become a teacher. She’s been a pharmacist, a teaching assistant and is a mother. And can I tell you, her students are so lucky to have her. Not only is she super smart, but she’s also good craic (Irish term for fun) and fantastic with young people. The more people like Brandon and Cathy who become teachers after they’ve lived other lives the better.
Brandon’s role at JPL is unique. He has one foot in the classroom and the other empowering teachers to make STEM more engaging for their students. One of the many things I took away from the interview was his passionate desire for all young people, regardless of background to have equal access to resources. That is a problem that many in the education space are trying to solve – how to we level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for all?
In fact, this is something that all of the people we’ve interviewed so far talked about. Personally, that’s why I work at Makematic. It’s something we’re trying to do with the organisations we work with.
NASA has many facets of its educational arm. And JPL is doing so much with such a little team. Their focus on educators is really all about impact. How can they reach more students? They believe though educators of course.
There’s so much more that Brandon has to say in the interview about NASA, STEM, teacher professional development and access. So I’d recommend watching the full interview here.