Xochitl Garcia is the education program assistant at Science Friday, where she focuses on supporting the inspiring efforts of educators (of all types) to engage students in science, engineering, math, and the arts. She can be seen making a mess with education manager Ariel Zych, developing teacher trainings/programs, and planning ways to connect Science Friday media to classrooms. She is excited to introduce the SciFri community and world to the amazing educators in their midst.
After graduating from Occidental College and working with high school students in Los Angeles, Xochitl moved to New York. She taught middle and high school science in the Bronx for over seven years. She worked with students on a variety of projects; some of her favorites include a trick-tip skateboarding video with physics annotations, a photo essay discussing botanical origins and flavor profiles in Mexican food, a group-produced rap song—it goes, “Digestion, this is the breakdown, nutrients are absorbed in the shakedown”—and a very detailed Facebook profile for Oxygen. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Xochitl has led professional developments and conference sessions for teachers on accessible curriculum and student engagement.
According to Xochitl, her father’s green thumb led to her infatuation with plants. In her studies at Lehman College, she looked at the use of herbs among the healers of Mexico. As a Fund For Teachers Fellow, she traveled to Ecuador to interview and observe cacao farmers for an ethnobotanical case study. Most recently, she circumnavigated Iceland as a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, where she photographed different plants to create classroom activities that connected geography, ecology, and botany. She is hoping to improve her knowledge of fungi this year.
Xochitl misses the warmth of Texas and California (she grew up in both) during the New York winters, but loves traveling to random parts of New York City to sample foods from almost every region of the world.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, Science Friday hosted a live online web panel to discuss challenges and approaches to teaching climate change science in the classroom. Led by passionate educators who are committed to best practices in climate education, this discussion provided strategies for bringing climate change data into the classroom.
The Bouba-Kiki effect describes the tendency of people to identify certain sounds with specific types of shape. Students will test out the Bouba-Kiki Effect, learn about current research, create their own sound-shape pairings based on the theories behind the Bouba-Kiki effect, and evaluate different explanations for the effect based on their observations.
Use this classroom resource to have your students learn about PrEP, an HIV prevention treatment that is the subject of a recent study in the Netherlands. Discuss implications of PrEP on the spread of HIV with this audio segment from Science Friday.