Name: Anthonette Pena
Place of Employment: Stuart-Hobson Middle School
Job Title: Science Teacher
Education: BA Liberal Studies, Concentrations in Math and Science, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
MS Education: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Nova Southeastern University
Anthonette Peña, a National Board Certified Teacher, is an 8th grade science teacher at Stuart-Hobson Middle School. Prior to joining the Stuart-Hobson staff, I served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings. As a teacher, one of my goals is to increase the number of underrepresented groups, specifically minorities and females, within the STEM pipeline and encourage them to consider STEM careers. As a science teacher, I am always looking for opportunities to share and expose my students to new career possibilities, specifically those that are STEM related. I strongly believe in using community resources and informal learning to support education. In my past school, I started a girl scout troop so that I could take some of my students on more field trips. They didn’t realize it, but most of the field trips I coordinated were STEM related. Last year, I was fortunate to be able to take my students to the USA Science and Engineering Festival which was held on the national mall. I arranged for some of my students to volunteer their time at the MD Bio Lab booth where they were able to demonstrate a lab and teach about polymers to the visitors. I have also coordinated field trips to NSF, the Air and Space museum to learn about NASA’s progress in the Mars program as well as a trip to the American History museum where we studied inventions.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered during your career in STEM?
It can be challenging to stay in the classroom with all the pressures of standardized testing and teacher accountability. With a background in STEM, there are other career possibilities with higher pay and less stress that I could consider. However, teaching provides me the greatest amount of personal satisfaction when I think about all the students I have made an impact with.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about having a career in STEM?
Motivating girls to pursue STEM careers and seeing them excited about Science.
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?
Go for it! You can do anything you want to do!
Did you have STEM mentors?
My High School math teacher
If you were a Girl Scout, what is your favorite Girl Scout memory?
Leading the pledge of allegiance in the Moscone Center, San Fransisco with my troop during a conference.