I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where I went to public K-12 schools and now live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In between, I’ve built houses with Americorps, done biological research in 7 countries, and taught at the elementary to graduate school level.
These experiences have led me to have a deep frustration with two connected and ever-widening fissures in US society—the gap between what experts and the public know to be true; and the quality of education available to students from rich and poor families.
In February of 2021, I quit my job teaching and doing research in a collaboration between Vanderbilt University and Metro Nashville Public Schools to focus my time on running Galactic Polymath Education Studio. The goal of this company is to help scientists, nonprofits, and sustainable companies achieve scalable outreach by translating cutting-edge research into mind-blowing FREE K-12 lessons.
With GP, we are trying to test out a new, more equitable business model. While most education companies are funded by charging teachers subscriptions, our lessons are free for everyone. We are funded by translating clients' complex work into engaging, standards-aligned learning experiences. For this venture to be a success, we need your help! If you support our mission please • hire us • sign up for GP Updates • email me to discuss a collaboration or • just tell a friend what we’re doing.
In my spare time, I love creative writing, cooking, and making people laugh. I’m also supremely lucky to be married to the incredible biologist, data scientist, and all-around wit: Emily J. Hudson, PhD.
PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 2014
University of Colorado at Boulder
BA in Ecology & Evolution + Spanish Linguistics, 2006
Here I talk about a couple strategies I developed to weave graphs into any lesson and make those graphs interesting to students by turning them into enigmas. The article links out to several Galactic Polymath lessons where I used these techniques.
I wrote this piece with Lauryn Benedict, PhD to draw attention to our 2020 study describing female barn swallow song for the first time, and the Grade 5-12 lesson we created from it.
I wrote this piece to advocate for why we should encourage students to use and improve Wikipedia–an unmatched, free resource for growing curiosity, media literacy, and offering opportunities for student agency. Wikipedia is an amazing public resource (like water) that we take for granted until we can’t get it for free. We should be using it more, not less, in the classroom (read the article before you come at me 😁)
galacticpolymath.com: Check out our main site to find the latest free lessons based on current research.
galacticEdTools: an R package to support K-16 education and scicomm. Functions for a variety of things, including making evolutionary trees very easily.
Standard X: a compilation of the leading academic standards in the US in 4 subjects—math, ELA, science, and social studies. Can you believe they’ve never been combined into a single spreadsheet before?!