Susan Ragan | Charlotte Trout | Stacy Pritchett | Don Higdon | Allen Skinner | Scott Sinex

Susan Ragan, project director for the Maryland Virtual High School of Science and Mathematics (MVHS), has been working in the field of computational science education for over fifteen years. She has taught computational methods to honors-level high school students and has used computer models and simulations in all levels of science classes. Through MVHS workshops, she has shown teachers how to infuse mathematics and computer modeling into their curricula and has assisted them as they developed instructional materials for their classrooms. She is currently participating in an NSF-supported research project designed to measure the effect of web-based simulations on student learning.

Charlotte Trout is currently a curriculum and instruction specialist in secondary science for the Washington County Public Schools. She has 24 years experience teaching Chemistry and Physics at Williamsport High School in Western Maryland. She joined the Maryland Virtual High School Project in the fall of 1995. As part of the project she has used modeling and simulation in her classroom, developed curricular materials, presented at national conferences and led local and national workshops for middle and high school teachers. As head of the science department at Williamsport, she was influential in providing computer resources for teachers in her department and throughout the county, a role she is able to pursue more actively in her present position.

Stacy Pritchett has been working in the field of science education for 15 years.  She began her teaching career in an urban classroom, teaching high school biology and environmental science.  She incorporated computer technology into the classroom with GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) and B-Stic (a collaborative project with NASA and the Ukraine).  In 1997, through her affiliation with Maryland Virtual High School, she began using computer modeling in her classroom.  She also contributed to the design, review and revision of curricular materials for use with computer simulations in science classrooms.  She conducted local teacher preparation workshops focusing on modeling and visualization in the high school classroom.  Currently, Stacy works as a science education coordinator at the University of Maryland.  She works with secondary science interns at both the graduate and undergraduate level, preparing them for Maryland state licensure in the field of secondary science education.

Don Higdon has been teaching science (predominantly physics) for 36 years. He became involved with the Maryland Virtual High School project at its inception, and has had development, mentoring, and leadership roles in every facet of the MVHS outreach program. As a physics teacher in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, he has had a leadership role in the inclusion of computational science tools and techniques throughout the curriculum, and participated in writing these into the county curricula for Physics, Earth Space Systems Science, and Physical Science. Through participation in several NSF grants he has developed and led numerous county, state, and national workshops associated with telecommunication, computational science, and project enhanced science learning. He cites involvement with the Labnet Telecommunications Project, MVHS, and the Arizona State University Modeling Project as his most important contributions in science education.

Allen Skinner has been teaching math and physics at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County for 9 years. He joined the Maryland Virtual High School project in 1998. As part of the project, he has used modeling and simulation in his classroom, developed curricular materials, attended national conferences, and led local workshops for middle and high school teachers. Students in Mr. Skinner's classes have generated science fair projects using STELLA modeling software and Videopoint software. These students have gone on to compete in the Intel International Science Fair.

Scott Sinex is Professor and Chair of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Department at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in Largo, MD. He received a PhD in geochemistry from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1982 and has taught chemistry and Earth science at PGCC since then. Over a decade ago, his pedagogical views started to shift to a learner-centered classroom as two of his colleagues convinced him that guided-inquiry for science instruction was the way to go. In the last five years, technology has assisted and enhanced his guided-inquiry mode of instruction. The general chemistry program at PGCC is technology-rich using the graphing calculator and Excel for the mathematical modeling of data, simulations using Stella and interactive Excel spreadsheets to further explore models and variables, and a great many animated and interactive activities using Chime for molecular models in browser software and PowerPoint. Thanks to the use of technology, the students are using higher-order thinking skills to discover relationships and replicate real-world science. In 2002, Scott received an award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology at the 13th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning in Jacksonville, Florida.