Name: Ann Drobnis
Place of Employment: National Science Foundation / Fairfax County Public Schools
Job Title: Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow / Math and Computer Science Teacher
Education: BS Engineering, Cornell University
Masters of Education, George Washington University
Ph.D in Education - George Mason University
Ann Drobnis is currently an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator at The National Science Foundation, working on the Computing Education for the 21st Century Project. Prior to receiving the fellowship, Ann taught math and computer science at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Ann holds a B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University, a M.Ed. from George Washington University and a Ph.D. from George Mason University. Her Ph.D. was focused on Instructional Technology and her dissertation was titled, “Girls in Computer Science: a Female Only Introduction Class in High School.” Through this work, Ann feels she has gained insight about opening the field of computer science to underrepresented populations in the field. Ann views a foundational understanding of computer science as fundamental to a student’s education because it teaches the basic premises of problem solving and introduces students to the backbone of technology, which is ever-pervasive in our society.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered during your career in STEM?
I found myself wanting to do things that I didn't have proper training for (like teaching computer science), but I found people who would help me, and I figured it out along the way.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about having a career in STEM?
Technology is constantly changing, and it's fun to understand why and how the changes are occurring. It's also great to see young kids adapt to the changes so quickly and easily.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is considering doing a Silver or Gold Award based on STEM or pursuing a career in STEM, what would that be?
Just do it - find someone you can ask questions of and never doubt yourself.
Did you have STEM mentors?
MANY - seek them out and talk to anyone and everyone - you never know who can help you at the right time.
If you were a Girl Scout, what is your favorite Girl Scout memory?