S1-02: Community and joy within K–8 science instruction: Desiré Whitmore

In this episode, we join Eric Cross as he sits down with physicist and science education specialist, Desiré Whitmore. Listen in as Desiré explains her work at the Exploratorium, a public learning laboratory. Eric and Desiré discuss finding passion in science, the importance of meeting students we’re they’re at, and K–8 science instruction with real-life connections. Desiré chats with Eric about her work on supporting the science of teaching science content at the Exploratorium museum.

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What teachers say

What Desiré Whitmore says about science

“I think it's really amazing when we can realize as teachers... our job is not just to enforce rules on our students... our job is is to help students achieve more learning.”

- Desiré Whitmore
Senior Physics Educator, aka “LaserChick”, Exploratorium

Meet the guest

A Southern California native, Desiré earned an associate of science from Antelope Valley College, a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from UCLA, and a master of science and Ph.D. in chemical and material physics from UC Irvine. Her research focused on developing very fast laser and microscope systems that could capture molecules vibrating and rotating in real time. She was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, where she designed and built attosecond lasers (the fastest laser pulses, which emit x-ray light, ever measured). At the Lawrence Hall of Science she wrote an all-digital K–8 science curriculum (Amplify Science), which aligned to the NGSS, with the Learning Design Group (LDG). Desiré left LDG to teach hands-on laser technology and physics courses at Irvine Valley College before joining the TI staff. She is the proud mom of Stella, a four-year-old boxer-pit mix. In her spare time, Desiré is restoring her 1967 VW bug.

About Science Connections

Welcome to Science Connections! Science is changing before our eyes, now more than ever. So…how do we help kids figure that out? We will bring on educators, scientists, and more to discuss the importance of high-quality science instruction. In this episode, hear from our host Eric Cross about his work engaging students as a K-8 science teacher. Listen here!