Lauren taught general science to at-risk teens at the Wetzel Center through YOU Inc. and received her MA teacher's licensure almost immediately upon return. She tutored chemistry and genetics to the home schooled community for three years before recognizing the need for an educational lab and academic space in Worcester. With the help of several friends within the community Lauren opened Think Tank with a mission to bring high quality, hands-on education to the Central MA community. Think Tank has been running successfully for four years and is beginning its fifth with extended staff, space and new technology lab and program. Lauren continues to run as educational director and science teacher while also continuing her own education through various graduate level course at UMASS Boston and Worcester State. She hopes to get a masters in Biology, to build an international component to Think Tank while also continuing to build her Think Tank team and the emphasis of experience and practical applications to learning through the center. Lauren also enjoys singing and songwriting, hiking, biking and studying Spanish.
Email Lauren: email@example.com
Being a musician and multi-instrumentalist composer plays an integral role in Adam's involvement with his local community. Aside from developing album-based projects, he enjoys collaborating with others to bring musical arts to the surface of the world around us.
Email Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org
For 20 years, Jennifer has been teaching children, teenagers and adults a variety of subjects in diverse settings. The constant in each of these experiences has been the story that each life, each event, weaves into the pattern of human history. She and her husband began the work of home-educating their children seven years ago during a research sabbatical in Cambridge, England. In 2008 they moved to Worcester and were introduced to the Think Tank just as it was getting started. Jennifer has been teaching history there since 2010. She draws upon her degrees in English Literature and in Theology, as well as her experience as a writer and storyteller, to make connections between the past and the present, and between every person’s reason and imagination. These themes are carried into the rhythms of daily life with a family. When she’s not at the Think Tank you will find her (usually in the company of at least one or two children) somewhere between her kitchen and the garden.
Moleka is a math tutor and is available by appointment on: Mondays 5:00-7:00pm, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-6:00pm.
Ian's other current projects include his work as a carpenter and designer out of a cooperative shop in Worcester known as Blank Slate. Blank Slate is a recently formed group of people enthusiastic about craftsmanship, technology and sustainability. Members include; blacksmiths, timber framers, carpenters, artists, urban farmers, engineers and many others who collaborate on multidisciplinary projects. Blank Slate's goal is to be a center for experimentation, resources and education towards sustainability for the people of Worcester. Ian looks forward to bringing his enthusiasm as well as his background to the sustainability design course held at Think Tank this year. Ian also enjoys rock climbing, sailing, biking (he spent time working at Worcester's Earn A Bike), and photography.
Dr. Maksimov is an author and a co-author of more than 60 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, an active member of the American Physical Society, and an editorial board member for Scientific Journals International. He serves as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals, including Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, Materials Chemistry and Physics, and Thin Solid Films, as a proposal reviewer for Research Foundation of City University of New York, and as a program evaluator for American Council of Education. In addition, he teaches General Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Toxicology courses for South University Online and American College of Healthcare Sciences.
Oleg will be assisiting with Think Tank's Glassworks lab and Chemistry in Context class.
Amanda Barker, a native of central Pennsylvania, is a graduate of Clark University’s Environmental Science and Policy master’s program. She is the founder and director of Nuestro Huerto, an urban farm and CSA (community shared agriculture) located in the heart of South Worcester’s Industrial Park. Her background isin international development, environmental science, urban agriculture and environmental education. She taught environmental education and team building at the Chewonki Foundation in Maine and volunteered abroad in Peru providing children in rural areas with nutrition, health, after-school and inter-cultural programming. She also traveled to Haiti to study how international development impacts human health and the environment. She believes in the power of hands-on experience to engage and empower students. She hopes that through her work, students will develop a deeper understanding and respect for their environment, their community and themselves.
Mohamed was born in a village in Guinea, West Africa into the Camara family, which is known for its traditional African drumming and dancing. He began his career in the Gambia where he started his own dancing and drumming group. He is the former artistic director of the African Ballet of Gambia. Mohamed has traveled extensively through Africa, Europe, and the United States performing and teaching his art. Mohamed served as lead teacher for Chuck Davis's cultural art safari, which is held every summer in the Gambia. Students interested in learning African drum and dance attend from all over the United State and Europe. Mohamed continues to teach dancing and drumming all over New England in school systems and at various Universities. He is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music. He is excited to be back at Think Tank to run West African Drumming for a second time.
James's research background informs his belief that the most enduring learning comes from working on projects, a philosophy he weaves into his teaching and his life. He wears many hats: being a pharmacy student, an educator, and even working as a software QA specialist. In what little free time he has, James enjoys mountain biking, hiking, outdoor exploration, board games, and cooking. He is available to tutor in math, chemistry, biology, and other sciences by appointment, and is available to mentor students who wish to pursue a college education in the STEM fields. He is also interested in developing future science/math classes at Think Tank based on student needs and interests.
Michelle was born in Worcester, MA and raised in neighboring Shrewsbury. She led a colorful college career, attending a multitude of great schools and taking a year off between transferring from Hampshire College to a small liberal arts college in rural Illinois, Knox College. Michelle received her BA in Creative Writing from Knox where she also studied anthropology, sociology, education, philosophy, and environmental studies, and she organized, farmed, and lived in the community. Her greatest experience, though, was teaching a creative writing workshop for a year at an alternative school for at-risk youth. Now, whilst fervently missing the Midwest’s fields and trains, but glad to return to her homeland, Michelle is tutoring students one-on-one in creative writing. Also of significance: Michelle immensely enjoys cats, dogs, photography, hula hooping, and Billie Holiday. She could not be happier to join Think Tank, a school that represents her ideals of creativity and cooperative learning.
Professionally, Stephanie is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (www.cnvc.org), and offers in person and online courses in parenting, personal growth, conflict resolution, as well as year long trainings for parents and professionals working with youth. Stephanie is passionate to share tools to foster the evolution of consciousness: to honor one’s own humanity, and to encounter the humanity in the other person. She has served both at the “Nonviolent Communication and Diversity Retreat” and the “New York Intensive Residential Training in Nonviolent Communication” as the Children’s Program founder and trainer for three consecutive years. Stephanie also carries a Ph.D in Philosophy from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, Italy.
Outside of the lab Steve was previously a lifeguard, swim teacher and is still a certified EMT in Virginia. His background in Spanish allowed him to travel to Peru as part of a group that provided basic medicine, supplies, and preventative health care to the village of Pampas Grande. Steve appreciates how these experiences have provided him the patient advocacy and personal interaction that lab research is less able to. Steve was introduced to Think Tank in the fall of 2012 through the Service Learning program at MCPHS. He is excited to continue working with Think Tank to design and teach science classes with a hands-on lab and research component. He believes developing a proper foundation in science requires introducing students to the lab techniques and considerations needed for experimental design. With this foundation students can apply this line of thinking and questioning universally in a variety of subject matter.
More information on other opportunities whithin Skin & Scales can be found at SkinAndScales.net
When Brett is not working at school he is busy serving his town as a call/per diem Firefighter/EMT-B with the Westminster Fire Department. For the past 9 years he has served in this capacity, often working overnight shifts and then going directly to school the next morning. He wants to instill in his students a sense of citizenship and commitment in addition to succeeding academically in school.
To relax he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing golf, skiing, woodworking, traveling, and staying active outdoors (hiking, biking, kayaking, etc). He hopes that participants in his courses will both learn a great deal about the subject as well as gain a greater appreciation of its role in our past and future.