K-12 Teacher-Partner Profile

Jacaranda (Jackie) Henkel

College/University: Cornell University
Project Title: CLIMB: Cornell's Learning Initiative in Medicine and Bioengineering
Partner School: Eagle Hill Middle School, Manlius, NY
Years Teaching:
Graduate Fellow Partner(s): Joseph Califano

How will you continue to integrate an aspect of GK-12 and your partnership with graduate students into your teaching, philosophy, etc.?

The very unique experience of working in a research lab this summer has helped me gain knowledge in both content and lab work, and it is my hope that this newly acquired knowledge will be integrated/reflected into my lessons. Using what I learned in the GK-12 program, and with the invaluable help of Joe Califano and Prof. Reinhart-King (Biomedical Engineering), I hope to spark and inspire a life-long love for science in my students by teaching lessons that are inquiry based, as well as lessons that are relevant to their daily lives. I am excited and looking forward to developing and delivering lessons that will include some of the latest cutting-edge research, as well as the development of lessons that include new and unique lab activities. I believe, as this program emphasizes and believes as well, in the importance of giving kids the opportunity to become problem solvers by exposing them to real-world problems that they can relate to.

How has the GK-12 experience changed you, and how has your participation changed the GK-12 project?

This experience has changed my views about the need to teach lessons that seek critical and analytical thinkers by creating a classroom environment in which students engage and seek answers to their own problems. This program helped realize the importance of giving students variety and choice as well as allowing students to reflect on their own learning. Also, the GK-12 experience has given me the opportunity to see the impact and success of a multidisciplinary collaboration that exists in the Biomedical Engineering Program. I hope to translate this same success to planning lessons that will include other disciplines like Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Technology, Physical Education and others.
Thank you for inspiring me to be a better teacher to my students.