Kids Science Labs Teachers
For Nina, it's about children. She earned her BS in architecture from the University of Illinois to design for them and a BA in elementary education at the University of Arizona to instruct them. From designing hospitals in Indianapolis to teaching early elementary school to mentoring Chicago teachers to raising her own daughters, Nina has involved herself in nurturing bright futures.
For Nina, it's about learning. Creatively. Meaningfully. To help students understand the structure of skyscrapers she had her preschoolers build an 8 foot model of the Sears Tower out of tissue boxes.
For Nina, it's about fun - the fun that comes from framing the important question and exploring possibilities for its answers. It's about the fun of digging for one result and guiding learning of something far more significant from a surprise outcome. It's about the fun of sharing the exciting journey to explore the "what" and "why" of the world at Kids Science Labs.
Ever since spotting a sea cucumber during a night snorkel in Belize and learning that these creatures dispel their own intestines to ward off prey, Katie has been hooked on the fascinating (and sometimes disgusting) world of science. Naturally curious about how the physical and biological world works, Katie linked most of her curriculum as a visual arts teacher to science concepts. For the past 6 years, Katie has taught visual arts to both elementary and high school students in Chicago Public Schools.
She has a Masters in Art Education from The Ohio State University and is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching Biological Sciences from Miami University. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm about hands-on scientific discovery to students in Kids Science Labs. When not learning about the outlandish in the natural world, Katie enjoys international travel, painting, backpacking, and riding her bike throughout Chicago.
As the child of two field-geologists, Katy learned early in life to pay attention to her surroundings, ask questions, and explore for answers. To her safety-conscious father's chagrin, she was never fearful of pinching crustaceans or of scaling large boulders.
Katy received her BA in Biology from Kenyon College and her MS in Biology with a focus on Marine Science from Florida International University. Her liberal arts education helped her realize that she found education in all forms inspiring, as she explored many subjects including chemistry, physics, and theatre.
For the last four years, Katy worked as a field biologist, studying large-predators and how they interact with the environment. She is now realizing her calling with Kids Science Labs, by exciting children (and adults!) about the natural world around them through hands-on experiences just as she did as a child.
Ever since he tried to treat his grandmothers bronchitis with a potent combination of toothpaste and mercuricome at the age of 8, Shegan has dreamed of being a scientist. While he never developed the cough solution, his problem solving spirit and warm smile led him to engineering degrees from Michigan and Stanford, several years designing microprocessors and technology systems at Intel, Lucent, two bay-area start-ups and atomic physics research.
Shegan is co-founder of Kids Science Labs and teaches Young Scientists and the Next Generation Design Lab. He is quite comfortable with his inner geek and is passionate about ensuring our kids have great academic choices. He has taught kids all over the country amazing problem solving and was named Most Outstanding TA at Stanford where he taught the Intro to Engineering Lab. Shegan loves to laugh and engage kids in fixing problems and figuring out how stuff works!
Keith learned to love the world around him from the time he entered Chicago's own Near North
Montessori. His first experience with ice at age three, sealed his interest in science for the rest of his life. It didn't hurt having engaging parents who helped him build strong problem-solving fundamentals and a desire to investigate why things work. It has lead him to rebuild a car engine, build boats out of cardboard, assemble bicycles from scratch, and take apart skis just to see what they were made of. He graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois and his MBA from Chicago Booth.
In addition to being a natural educator, Keith has taught leaders at Chicago Booth, consulted with Fortune 50 companies, and taught sailing to kids 4-17 for years in Chicago. Keith loves innovating and having the courage to take a risk. Along with his co-founder, he teaches Young Scientists, Next Generation Design Lab and our Advanced Science classes. He loves making science cool and the joy and sense of empowerment children feel when they discover something they thought was impossible.
Tiia has been teaching as long as she can remember. For over ten years, she has excelled at sparking the imagination of kids in both private and public Chicagoland schools. She has led curriculum development, built ESL curriculums from scratch in Colorado while training for Ironman triathlon competitions, and in her spare time from raising two kids under the age of three with her husband, she is a professional photographer. Tiia has BS and MS degrees in Biology, Spanish and Early Education and loves seeing kids get excited about learning.
Dr. Thomas learned early from one of her elementary school teachers that science was fun and important. She excelled as a student and eventually obtained her BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern, MS in Environmental Engineering from Stanford, and MD from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She worked for four years as an environmental engineer doing clean water and hazardous waste remediation prior to medical school.
In between completing her residency, and having two children with her husband, the former high school track and basketball star lends her skills part-time giving back to early learners by teaching our On Doctoring, Beginning Medicine and Anatomy Series. Kids everywhere love the fun passion that Dr. Thomas brings to science education as she feels that the kids everywhere deserve an opportunity to engage science the way she did at a young child.