Mar
29
2009

Kim Foglia — Introductions

Kim Foglia and her students at the American Museum of Natural History

Kim Foglia and her students at the American Museum of Natural History

It’s been a long strange trip!

Right now, most people know me as a biology educator and one of the handful of mentors on the College Board’s AP Biology listserve. I teach AP Biology and Regents (NYS 10the grade) Biology at Division Avenue High School in Levittown (America’s 1st suburb!), Long Island, New York. I have actually taught biology at many levels over the course of 25 years. I used to teach Introductory Biology at Cornell and also served as the laboratory coordinator for the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers. I developed CIBT’s popular Lending Library Program in which biology teachers can borrow equipment kits to perform biotech labs in their classrooms.

I am the publisher of the ExploreBiology.com Web site, offering biology teaching and learning resources. I am also the author of the Instructors Guide for the AP Biology edition of the popular Raven & Johnson textbook from McGrawHill.

But it’s been an eclectic path along the way and I’ve tried on many hats. In the 80s, I was a baker running a natural foods bakery outside of Ithaca, NY. In the 90s, I worked for CNN and CNNfn helping launch their news Web sites. In the early 2000s, I launched my own dot-com company developing Web sites for large enterprises. I also returned to the family farm for a while and helped run our flowering perennials nursery.  But I’ve always come back to teaching. That is the only endeavor that left me satisfied and excited on a daily basis.

Kim Foglia & her mother out birdwatching

Kim Foglia & her mother out birdwatching

And I bring this eclectic life into the classroom. I have never approached teaching as all you need to do is walk into a classroom and lecture, then walk out again. I believe a classroom is a setting for exploration and learning, so my classroom is always filled with ongoing projects, lots of plants, interesting critters, intriguing oddities, models, and the occasional out of place tshatshke just to keep the students wondering. My biggest pet peeve about science teaching is approaching biology as a second language — making it an exercise in vocabulary memorization — rather than an approach to questioning how the world works and on the flipside an understanding of interwoven concepts explaining how the world works. And ultimately, I believe if it’s fun to do, it’s easy to learn.

My life is measured in seasons. My interests extend to gardening, birdwatching, hiking, camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, kayaking, and sailing.  Life is rounded out with two growing children, 2 dogs, 2 snakes, a turtle, a bearded dragon, a degu and waaaay too many mice.

Written by kfoglia in: Introductions | Tags:
Mar
26
2009

Rich Benz Intro

Rich Benz (and friend) G’day all.
I thought a little intro might help everyone get to know me.  Currently I am the Lake County Science Specialist at the Lake County Educational Service Center (another name for our county board of education.) Lake County is in Northern Ohio about 15 miles east of Cleveland, along Lake Erie. This is my third year as the “County Science Specialist.” Prior to this I was the Science Department Chairman and taught biology for 34 years at Wickliffe High School (also in Lake County.) I taught general bio, Honors Bio, AP Biology, Biology 2, Photography and many years ago Earth Science. I am the author of the NSTA Press book, Ecology and Evolution; Islands of Change, and wrote the on-line student lessons and laboratories for the PBS Evolution Series web site. In addition, I wrote the teacher’s guide for the IMAX movie Galapagos. I also helped to write the current State of Ohio Science Education Standards and was on the advisory board for the State Curriculum Lessons. I have traveled far and near spreading the word about biology having taught teacher workshops throughout Ohio, around the country, and internationally in South Africa, Great Britain, and Australia. I have visited and led trips for teachers to the Galapagos Islands. I have presented at both state-level and national conferences on topics ranging from biotechnology, genetics, evolution, and using technology in education. My most current project has been to help with the science programming of the newly constructed Lake Metroparks Environmental Learning Center.

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I enjoy fly-fishing, photography, technology in general, and wandering along trails and in streams. I live in Concord with my wife Betsy and my naturalist cat Fitzroy. I have two step daughters, one a genetics counselor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, and the other that is currently living and working and raising my granddaughter, Maddie, in Bethlehem, Pa.

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Written by richardbenz in: Introductions | Tags: