Summer STEM Education Faculty | Edge on Science

Summer fun for budding scientists and engineers!

A project based, fun approach to applied science and engineering with summer programs held at prestigious colleges and universities.

Or choose custom programs for your school, museum, library, youth group or community.

• work in teams, building individual & group projects •

• use tools, drawings, computer applications & scientific instruments •

• child to instructor & assistant ratio of 7:1 or less •

• lead instructors are engineers, scientists or scholars •

• Outdoor games & challenges add to the fun! •

John Aviste, P.Eng.

John Aviste, P. Eng.
BS Civil Engineering, University of Toronto

John is one of the lead instructors this summer. His youth programs have been held at university campuses, libraries, schools and museums. Thousands of students have participated. John has a background in civil engineering.

Accomplishments include:
• solving the challenge of using less plastic, in hot-filled beverage bottles
• engineering and prototyping a tamper-proof, temperature sensing device
• researching ways to reduce spoilage in silage, used to feed dairy cattle
• producing the Tree City USA instructional video & manual

Molly Crown STEM Drone Instructor

Molly Crown
Graduating in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Molly will not be returning this summer to lead Drone & Code, as she will be pursuing full time employment. We wish her success in all her future endeavors! She has contributed much to the Drone & Code curriculum and now passes it on to our new Instructor, Tariq Georges, a computer engineering major at Boston University.

Greg Dancer

BS Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS Literature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MA Film Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Greg joins us this summer to lead the Super Science Sampler and the Summer Rocket Blast Off. He is known for his kindness and ability to connect with children.

Rebecca FitzGerald

BS Rochester Institute of Technology, Photographic sciences w/an immersion in mathematics

Rebecca has contributed to a Python script, to calibrate the gain of each pixel in a CMOS detector, so it can be used in taking scientific measurements of solar flares. This was done for the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. More recently, her pursuits have taken a 180 turn, towards things that are very small. Her studies include optics, digital image processing, scientific photography, high speed photography, high magnification photography, vision and psychophysics, scanning electron microscopy and 4D design (video application).

Tariq Georges
Majoring in Computer Engineering, Boston University

Tariq is no stranger when it comes to electronics and computer technology. He is adapting the curriculum for Drone & Code from computer science graduate, Molly Crown. One of the new challenges will involve object recognition. Tariq’s experience in working with youth will figure into his approach with scratch programming for the younger children and python coding for the older children!

Lindsay Hirt marine biologist

Lindsay Hirt
M.S. Emergency Management, Summa Cum Laude at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA)
B.A. Biology, Magna Cum Laude at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM)

Lindsay Hirt, a native New Englander, loves her salty community so much that she has shaped her life and passions around the ocean. With over fifteen years experience in the field and a strong background in the natural and biological sciences paired with a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management, Lindsay is well equipped to demonstrate and facilitate discovery in the sciences for others. As a marine biologist and science educator, Lindsay splits her time between the “field” and the classroom.

Working with whale watch companies in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Lindsay keeps her thumb on the pulse of what’s happening with sensitive marine life populations like sea turtles, North Atlantic right whales, and seals. She guides the public on whale watch cruises every day, all summer long!

In an effort to monitor and protect these creatures in their natural environment, Lindsay acts as a first responder to marine wildlife in trouble and teaches others how to safely coexist with them. She works collaboratively alongside environmental conservation organizations, such as International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Healthy Oceans Coalition, and the New England Aquarium. This means wearing multiple hats, so-to-speak, thanks to a background in marine biology, veterinary medicine, and emergency management! On any given day it might mean photographing animals to track their identity and behavior, helping research interns collect data, presenting information at a conference, teaching a children’s naturalist program, informing policymakers, or designing curriculum for students at all age levels. Join her on an adventure and learn some cool things while having fun!

Isabelle Nguyen

Biomedical Engineering at Boston University with a 3.78 GPA

Isabelle has considerable experience in computer aided design (CAD) while on a FIRST robotics team and more recently on a Formula SAE electric car team. Combine that with her experience as a youth swim coach and you have the makings of a fun, deep dive into 3D Printing & Design or Catapult Engineering!

Isabelle is a member and active participant in the Boston University, Society of Women Engineers.

Tyler VanHelene

Tyler VanHelene
Studying mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In 2018 and 2019, Tyler assisted with Edge on Science summer programs, notably Drone & Code, Catapult Engineering and the Summer Rocket Blast Off. He has a wide variety of achievements and activities he dedicates his time to. While still in high school, he was the captain of his high school robotics team, continuing his study of black-belt in karate, sailing on his school’s varsity sailing team, and interning at the hematology and oncology lab at Boston University.

Tyler is pursuing an internship the summer of 2021 and we wish him all the best! He continues to contribute to the curriculum for 3D Printing & Design and will collaborate with Isabelle Nguyen.

Brett Zaorski

Brett Zaorski
Majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University

Brett loves summer camp! As a camper, the activities he loved best were the ones where he learned something new and were hands on. For the past five summers, he’s worked as either a counselor-in-training or a lead counselor, working with children aged five to 16. 

 At Case Western, Brett works in the university’s innovation center, supervising activities on the fabrication floor. He also enjoys building sets for theatre performances and playing with the marching band on the drumline.

Brett was an Edge on Science Instructor the summer of 2020 and helped to blaze a trail for conducting safe in-person programs. Now he gets ready to pass the torch, so-to-speak, to Greg Dancer and Rebecca FitzGerald. We wish Brett success as he pursues an internship this summer!