ACS Science Coaches–Spotlight Stories
Science Coaches contribute their valuable expertise, enthusiasm, and time to enhance science education. Learn more about outstanding Science Coaches featured in the Chemistry Ambassadors Member Spotlight series.
James Leenhouts is a retired chemist who volunteers his time spreading chemistry knowledge to children who reside on the remote island of Key Largo, Florida. He volunteers with a local school, Academy of Ocean Reef, as an ACS Science Coach to engage students with chemistry and to get them excited about science in everyday life.
Dr. Emil Lozanov is a chemist who shares the wonder of chemistry with middle school science students through educational demonstrations. As an ACS Science Coach, Lozanov hopes to increase middle school students’ science and math skills by visiting several schools in the greater Detroit, Michigan, area.
Dr. Marcia L. Gillette is an adjunct senior lecturer in chemistry at Indiana University Kokomo who takes her passion for chemistry outreach into the classroom. Gillette’s volunteerism is fueled by her desire to give back to the education community in honor of several educators who inspired her to become a chemist and those who taught her children.
Dr. Amy Keirstead, an organic chemistry professor at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, prepares high school science students for college-level education through her role as an ACS Science Coach. By partnering with a high school chemistry teacher at the rural Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Keirstead introduces students to elaborate experiments to pique their interest in science.
Drs. Sam and Sumita Mitra are a husband and wife team who are passionate about sharing chemistry knowledge with students throughout the state of Minnesota. Retired chemists from 3M, the duo work in multiple schools as ACS Science Coaches to educate students about chemistry in everyday life.
Michael Tinnesand is a retired high school chemistry teacher who champions science education through volunteerism in Pasco, Washington. As an ACS Science Coach, his outreach efforts are reinforced by the belief that every student, despite their socio-economic situation, should have the opportunity to learn about science in public schools.
Jessica Rabuck, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, strives to positively influence young students’ perception of science by being an ACS Science Coach. Volunteering her spare time in a second-grade class, Rabuck works to help young students to better understand science through educational and fun hands-on activities.
Greglynn Gibbs is a research technologist at Penn State Berks, a campus of Pennsylvania State University. She shares her love of chemistry by showing students in underserved communities the fun in science. Her outreach is stimulated by the belief that showing students that chemistry is exciting and a part of their daily lives inspires them to stay in school, do well in courses, and to adopt a positive attitude about lifelong learning. Helping students to see the fun in a challenging subject like chemistry can also prepare students to handle challenges later in their lives.
Dr. Frank Schweighardt, current board member, former chief executive officer, and chairman of the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, mentors students to compete in local science fairs through his role as an ACS Science Coach. Assisting middle school science teacher Jessica Donahue, Schweighardt comes into her classroom four times a week to help students create and prepare experiments used to compete in Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Fairs and the Allentown School District Science Fair.