Sometimes both your parents are scientists and all you want to do is be a concert pianist.
That is, until you head off to college and meet a teacher that throws you off course.
Our June STEM Educator of the Month, Elizabeth Bell, did just that, and she's never looked back.
“I was so inspired that I changed my degree to Biology freshman year, and that's when I kept going. It was because he was very challenging,” Bell says. “He pushed us very hard, but he was so passionate, and you could see his passion coming through in his teaching.”
Bell knew STEM was her true calling and made her way to the Lowcountry. She quickly began researching and inspiring others while working at the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.
“No matter where you are, you have to really appreciate the environment you live in, and not only what's in it and what's going on and all the cool things that are there, but also the impacts that we have on the environment and how can we use that to better protect the environment around us,” Bell says.
Teachers come back every year to learn new lessons from Bell and then pass them on to their classes. The future generations are making a difference now with a simple plant called spartina!
The site that Bell takes her students to plant her Spartina is all filled in.
It's said that if you give someone a fish and they'll eat for a day, but teach them how to fish and they'll eat for a lifetime. Bell is doing just that with stem.
“I love teaching students, but teaching teachers is really my passion and I love being able to share knowledge, but almost in a selfish way,” Bell says. “I am so inspired by what they do every day, and so it really keeps me going. It means a lot, really does.”
Do you know someone making a difference in the Lowcountry STEM community? Nominate them for our STEM Educator of the Month. (CLICK HERE)