I was first introduced to the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative in a rather vicarious manner through the vibrant teachings of Marcelo Caplan. Before he became my mentor, co-worker, and overall wealth of knowledge for all things related to education, he was my professor. One afternoon, he invited my fellow classmates and myself to attend the STEAM conference he was hosting at NEIU. That gave me the opportunity to see how many people were in fact benefiting from the work done by the Scientists for Tomorrow team, of which each member carried the same form of excitement and enthusiasm for the proverbial “wow” moment I myself now try to introduce the children I teach to.
My very first class was also my most stressful one, only because I had never evaluated my public speaking skills in front of children. That said, once I stepped into the classroom and introduced myself to the class, the atmosphere became very fluid and comfortable. I treated every class as a learning experience for both myself and the children in my classroom.
The Professional Developments really helped me keep a solid pace with the curriculum I was teaching. Not only that, but they provided an environment that invited all of the instructors to get a better understanding of the tools and materials that they would be using, including a chance to ask questions and get advice from Marcelo and Evelyn, who were always more than willing to help explain certain concepts or send over lesson plans and extra materials when needed.
As an instructor, I was given the opportunity to take part in many of the events that Scientists for Tomorrow put on over the course of the semester, such as the Fiesta Familiar (held at the Lincoln Park Zoo) and Family Science Day (held at the Museum of Science and Industry). Not only did those events give me a chance to interact more broadly with the families of the children I taught, but managing large groups of one-hundred or more people over the course of an afternoon definitely helped strengthen my time management skills and allowed me a chance to see children interact with family and friends, as well as impart them with the same knowledge and interesting facts that we covered over the course of our ten weeks together.
Being part of the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative has given me the chance to meet some of the most diligent educators, including some of the most ambitious children I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Their tenacity and perpetual movement towards success and accomplishment has made my time with Scientists for Tomorrow more than worthwhile, and I look forward to meeting and working with the next group of talented young minds and hopefully giving them a chance to chase and realize their own “wow” moment.
By: Filip Zadro -SfT instructor at Shields Elementary School and Senior at Columbia College Chicago majoring in Audio and Design Production.