Letter: Aspen Science Center is expanding | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Aspen Science Center is expanding

The Aspen Science Center is pleased to announce that we have hired a new education coordinator following a nationwide search that attracted more than two dozen candidates from across the country. Maya Hunt, currently a resident of Denver, will fill the newly created position and brings a wealth of education experiences along with her own strong educational background in physics and research. Hunt graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in physics and astronomy from the University of Pittsburgh, along with a minor in theater arts, and completed a secondary physics teaching credential through Rhode Island Teaching Fellows. She also completed 16 credits toward a doctorate in Physics at the University of Denver. Her research areas include planetary nebulae and exoplanets.

Prior to joining the Aspen Science Center, Hunt taught Advance Placement physics, physics and honors chemistry at St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, California, where she designed weekly interactive labs and demonstrations for inquiry-based STEM education; taught physical sciences, astronomy and physics at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where she was also responsible for the complete creation from scratch of the curricula for all classes to support state teaching standards; worked as a counselor at a year-round science adventure camp for grades four through 12 in Idyllwild, California; and worked with kindergarten through second-grade students with autism in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Hunt brings a wealth of experience in designing and implementing inquiry-based STEM education that supports state learning standards and a solid understanding of fundamental science through her educational background in physics. She has worked with children of all ages and backgrounds and has an outgoing and energetic personality, as evidenced by her theater arts minor. This is exactly that rare combination of hard-core scientific and STEM knowledge combined with a passion and enthusiasm for teaching that we were looking for in this position.

We know that the United States needs to do a better job of educating and nurturing the next generation of scientists, doctors, technologist and other important STEM-related careers. The key to success is introducing children to science at an early age, to encourage exploration and curiosity and hopefully to spark an interest in them that makes them want to learn more and pursue STEM-related careers. The reality is that schools don’t always have the time for this type of learning, and this is an important role that science centers play in many cities around the country. We at the Aspen Science Center feel that the children of the Roaring Fork Valley need and deserve similar encouragement and support.

In addition to her important educational work with youth, Hunt also will help create educational programming for all ages, including adults, like the successful Science of Music series presented in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Please join us in welcoming Hunt to the Roaring Fork Valley!

David Houggy

President, Aspen Science Center


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