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Meet the STEAM Ambassadors

Leah Amparan

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Leah Amparan is a recent graduate of Cal State San Marcos, where she majored in Liberal Studies with a depth of study in Arts in Education. She is currently pursuing her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential through CSUSM and is looking forward to integrating STEAM into her future classroom. Her love of art and teaching influenced her decision to join the STEAM Ambassadors team last year and she is grateful for all of the opportunities that this group has given her. 

What does it mean to be a STEAM ambassador to you?

Being a STEAM ambassador has provided me with many opportunities to grow as a teacher and a student, as well as connect more to my community. I get to work with a great group of strong women in a field that is often dominated by men, and we push each other to become better thinkers and learners.

 

Amy Brunolli

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Since childhood, Amy has always been involved in the arts from piano lessons at 6 years old to taking art classes throughout middle school and high school. Her first degree in Media Arts & Animation led her to a career working on VFX in such films as The Avengers (2012). During a hiatus from production, Amy began teaching watercolor and oil painting to children and fell in love with teaching. She returned to school to pursue a career in education and recently graduated from Cal State San Marcos with a degree in Liberal Arts. Amy is currently part of the Concurrent Cohort in CSUSM’s credential program and is passionate about integrating STEAM into her future classroom.

What does it mean to be a STEAM Ambassador to you?

I think it really says something about the future of STEAM, that all the ambassadors happen to be women and I am so proud to be among them. I think it is so important for children, especially young girls, to see that they can be involved in STEAM and create amazing things.

 

Tarah Durham

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Tarah graduated from Cal State San Marcos with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies with a depth of study in Art Education in the spring of 2020. After graduation she began working on getting her teaching credentials through Cal State San Marcos, specifically  in the Multiple Subject Credentials to work with k-5th grade students. 

What does it mean to be a STEAM ambassador to you?

 Being a STEAM ambassador has given me the opportunity to make a difference in students lives right now, instead of waiting until I am a certified teacher. I hope that I can encourage kids to believe that they can do anything they put their minds to. STEAM  teaches kids many lessons: being different is okay, everybody's ideas do not need to be the same, empathy, and how to express their feelings.

 

Kodie Gerritsen

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Kodie Gerritsen is a double major in Physics and Art & Technology. She has a passion for physical geography and has worked on various hands-on projects in various setting: out in the brush, in the physics laboratory and in the art studio, with exhibitions integrating art and science. STEAM is her dream!

What does it mean to be a STEAM ambassador to you?

STEAM bridges the gap between disciplines, and as a STEAM ambassador, I prefer to approach science education using art as a tool for adding interest and cultivating intuitive understanding. Utilizing teaching methods that involve both science and art encourages light bulb moments that allow children to shine. Increased student interest in scientific awareness through art in return inspires innovative views of the world and allows children to experiment with applications of art and science in their immediate environment.

 

Raelene Pellos

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Raelene is a senior at Cal State San Marcos majoring in Physics and minoring in Dance and Mathematics.  Raelene passion for STEAM education derives from her interest in dance and science and her overall fascination by the physical world artistically and academically.

What does it mean to be a STEAM ambassador to you?

I firmly believe that everyone has the potential to be both an artist and a scientist. Both take a lot of work and determination,  a dancer trains for many years as does a scientist. Some people may be immersed more in one or the other but, everyone has some percentage of both even if they don’t know it. As a STEAM ambassador, I hope to share this mindset with others.

 

Rebecca Robinson

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Rebecca is a senior at Cal State San Marcos majoring in Liberal Studies with a depth of study in Arts and Education. She has always had a passion for art, but became interested in STEAM education after changing her major to Liberal Studies. After graduating, Rebecca hopes to pursue her multi subject credential at CSUSM. She hopes to bring STEAM education to her K-5 classroom as teacher.

What does it mean to be a STEAM ambassador to you?

Being a STEAM ambassador means that I can use what I have learned to help younger students find interest and passion in STEAM. Art was my anchor to education, but being able to combine that with subjects like science and math helped me break down barriers that pushed my understanding to new heights. I hope to do the same for kids now!