Curriculum Development and Educational Advisory Team
This team of passionate STEM educators creates a project-based learning experience to introduce students to authentic research on the International Space Station. They are mentors and leaders in driving curiosity and engagement for students of all backgrounds.
Magnitude.io Vice President
As the Magnitude.io Vice President, Lori Waters leads the science research, communications, and education team.
Waters brings twenty years of experience to the Magnitude.io team across the fields of public relations, communications, education, and space science. In addition to designing the Carbon Farmer mission and guiding the astrobotany research, she is the host of Legumes in Space LIVE and presents on behalf of Magnitude.io at conferences and trade shows. With experience in formal and informal educational settings, she holds Florida professional educator certification in four subject areas, including Earth and Space Science. A true believer in life-long learning, Waters is an analog astronaut who served as the Crew Operations Officer for the Selene IV Lunar Analog Mission at HI SEAS in March 2021 and was part of the mission support team for the UND-APU ARG Inflatable Lunar Mars Habitat Analog mission in October 2021.
She received her BA in Political Science from Furman University, MBA from the University of Phoenix, and Science Teaching Graduate Certificate from the University of Florida. She is currently enrolled in the University of North Dakota Space Studies Masters of Science program. In summer 2020, she completed a Teacher in Training internship with the NASA Ames GeneLab for High Schools program. In Fall 2020, she completed a graduate research fellowship focused on food crop production for long duration missions through the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. When not growing plants, you can find her running and cycling on the trails in Central Florida and Colorado.
Magnitude.io Curriculum Specialist and Middle School STEM/Science Educator, Milton, GA
Steve has been in education for 16 years. He earned his BA in Psychology from Berea College, and an MA in Teaching from Brenau University. He has taught students from 3 years old up to 8th grade. He is currently teaching STEM/Science Enrichment at Hopewell Middle School in Milton, GA. In 2012 Steve was awarded the Teacher of the Year award for Abbotts Hill Elementary. In addition to inspiring kids in the classroom, he is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and brings his love of science to the community.
Leguminaut Challenge | Team Lentil
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Javier Montiel M.Ed.
Magnitude.io Curriculum Specialist and Elementary Bilingual Teacher, Freeport, TX
Javier Montiel M.Ed. studied at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Cuernavaca and his Masters at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. He emigrated to the Houston Texas area where he works as a bilingual teacher in Freeport Texas.
International education projects with public and private schools are one way to describe Professor Montiel’s work. He has been responsible for linking Tecnológico de Monterrey students and teachers with NASA. He has collaborated with staff and students at Shimane University in Japan and the Education Department of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He has taught conferences on education and technology at the Space Exploration Educators Conference at Space Center Houston for 10 consecutive years and has given official NASA courses and training to teachers and students within the Johnson Space Center facilities.
He was selected in 2017 to work as a teacher advisor in the Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms initiative in conjunction with NASA and the WGBH to test and review official NASA educational materials representing the State of Texas.
Professor Montiel enjoys the feeling of motivating students to find their life passions through education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and as an innovative educator, collaborates with students and fellow educators to redesign 21st-century education.
7th and 8th grade Science, Fort Worth Academy, Fort Worth, Texas
Lauren Parker earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from Texas Christian University. Lauren currently teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science at Fort Worth Academy in Fort Worth, Texas. She has earned many recognitions in her teaching career including being named District Teacher of the Year. She was also selected to present with her students at the NASA/Sally Ride Science GRAIL MoonKam Teacher Expo in Washington, D.C. to share how the mission was incorporated in the classroom. She is a frequent presenter at both local and national conferences and also serves as a member of the Space Exploration Educator Crew program at Space Center Houston; a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and a Space Station Ambassador with CASIS.
Leguminaut Challenger | Team Chickpea
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Grade 6 Gifted Science, Randall Middle School, Tampa, Florida
Vaughn has been a science teacher for over 30 years. She has been a teacher of Gifted Science for the past 25 years along with being a Science Academic Coach in Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL. She continues to write curriculum for upper elementary and middle school that provides teachers and students ways to engage with concepts in Earth and Space Science. Mary has led 3 student teams with microgravity experiments to the space station and has been the Community Program Director with her district for 7 years with leading experiments to the station. Vaughn has also been a Solar System Ambassador (SSA) for 11 years, is a member of the Space Educator Expedition Crew (SEEC) out of Space Center Houston, and most recently selected as a Ray Lien Aerospace Educator from Florida Sun n Fun. She has also been Teacher of the Year and selected twice to attend the Honeywell Space Camp in Huntsville, AL in 2008 and advanced in 2010. Her true passion in engaging our next generation with real world science!
SSEP Community Program Director
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Leguminaut Challenge | Team Mungbean
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Aerospace Educator, Quebec, Canada
Dianea is one of four founding members of the Montreal Storytellers’ Guild (est. 1985), an entrepreneur owning Enchanting Tales Storytelling for schools and libraries, Science Yourself! No G’s About It! -STEM AND STEAM programs for children. In fall 2020, she is launching the first Space School on the West Island of Montreal as well as, “Science Herself!”- STEM to STEAM programs for girls. Dianea also helps provide lower income schools with basic school supplies through her Teachers for Teachers – Canadian Classrooms Care donor program.
With 25 plus years in the education field she has been a game changer in classrooms and whole school progress. She has been a leader in the field of space/technology with her teaching/modeling role with the Center for Educational Excellence (LBPSB) and has worked in many roles from classroom teacher to Educational Services Consultant as well as a, mentor and teacher model. She is the vice-president of DKG Quebec, Canada and is a DKG International Speaker. Her educational experiences have taken her to Korea, Thailand, and for over 12 years, she taught both students and teachers from England, Spain, Japan and Brazil with the International Studies Program at Lester B. Pearson School Board. She has led whole school change projects with three elementary schools within the Lester B. Pearson School Board. She holds a volunteer position at the Montreal Aviation Museum and is chair of the education team and sits on the Operatives Committee. She recently partnered with Magnitude i.o ExoLab – experiments on the International Space Station to create project based experiences with her students, home school children and elementary schools.
Background: B.Ed. McGill University, Certified Aerospace Educator/ Alumni of the Space and Rocketry Center, Huntsville Alabama and NASA-SEEC Space Exploration Educators Conference – Johnson Space Center Houston Texas, TX. Certified Adventures In Wisdom Youth Coach –Austin Texas and PPCC Concordia University, certified Professional/Personal Adult Life Coach.
Leguminaut Challenge | Team Soy Bean
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Director, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Providence, Rhode Island
Renée Gamba is the Director of the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium in Providence RI. For over 20 years she has developed and facilitated education programming, including planetarium shows, for diverse populations to excite them about science and learning. Working with the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium and NASA Northeast Planetary Data Center she has curated exhibitions highlighting NASA Missions. For over 10 years Gamba has partnered with the Krupowicz Planetarium in Gaudet School in Middletown RI to lead programming for students and the community.
Gamba is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador (SSA), a member of the Space Center Houston Space Educator Expedition Crew (SEEC), Space Station Ambassador, and was most recently selected to be a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison. In the summer of 2019 she was invited to be the Chair for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island and facilitated programming at libraries all over Rhode Island celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.
Leguminaut Challenge | Team Alfalfa
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