Katherine OwensElementary STEM Innovation Teacher
At WES since 2012
What motivated you to become a teacher?
My deep love of nature and the intricacy of how things worked set me on a track to become a botanist. However, I also studied art and business, and for close to a decade, I worked in the consumer product industry as the V.P. of Business Development for a public confectionery company handling marketing, sales, product design, licensing, and strategy. As an adult, I was struck by the disconnection between the information I learned in school and its application in the world. When I become a mother, I felt a higher calling; I switched careers and went into education. As a teacher, I combine my science and design background with my business experience to write curriculums that cultivate an appreciation for STEM, instill content, foster skills, inspire creativity, celebrate diversity and emphasize social and environmental responsibility in students.
What am I doing when I am not teaching?
I am an avid hiker, swimmer, artist, singer, and idea generator. My favorite type of day is when I discover something cool and awesome and share my excitement for learning with others. I like to stay active, so it is no surprise my favorite tagline is Nike’s “Just Do It!” I read business and science magazines and test out all new experiments on my wonderful two children for reading pleasure.
I am an award-winning educator and curriculum developer in STEM, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Design. I hope to create engaging, applicable, and purposeful classes that instill content, foster skills, inspire creativity, celebrate diversity, and emphasize social and environmental responsibility in students. I leverage my previous career in business development to educate and advocate the importance of modernizing education to meet the workforce demands of the 21st century through student-focused solutions, institutional objectives, and strategic partnerships.
2018 “Teachers of Innovation” Grand Prize recipient from The Henry Ford and 2019 National Science Teacher Associations’ Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award recipient