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Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

Units!

“Units are life or death!” I tell my students. I often use the following example:

Let’s say we’re all on a boat and Mary falls overboard. I turn to you and yell, “Quick, get me 12 of rope or Mary will die.” You bring me 12 centimeters but I needed 12 feet and alas, glug, glug, gurgle, gasp, poor Mary is dead. Units are important.

Princess/Teacher/Citizen Scientist

When I was young and adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my simple response due to my love of Christa McAuliffe, Princess Diana, and the aunt I still look up to today was: princess/astronaut/teacher.  In 1986, my elementary teacher rolled a TV into the Science Corner and my classmates and I tearfully watched Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher trained to go into space, die in the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion.  Due to the early development of a strong case of self-preservation, I narrowed my future career choices to just princess/teacher.  In 2011 Prince William got ma

Holy Mole-y, That Was Fun!

Stuffed Moles

What specific lessons do you remember from your school days?  I remember Mrs. Gallegos letting us watch Romeo and Juliet after reading the book in English class.  In Spanish, Sra. Huerta celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a Hispanic food pot luck.  The cat dissection in Anatomy and Physiology is a memory I won't soon forget.  I can still recall the first 20 digits of pi thanks to the competition held in math class on Pi Day.  However, while I remember the fundamentals Mrs.

Notable Student Success Stories: Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

I grew up believing mediocrity was unacceptable.  In the Macias household, the only acceptable report card grade to bring home was an A.  B’s were considered failing grades and only God knew what would happen to you if you ever brought home a C.  Neither I nor my siblings cared to test out that scenario.  We worked hard to live up to and exceed the expectations our parents placed on our shoulders.  Life has taught me that not everyone had that same experience.  In fact, I think my tough-love upbringing is becoming quite the rarity in today’s world and average is unfortunately becoming the a

Travel to the Extremes (In the Name of Science)

I was a military brat.  My dad was in the Navy, so every 3 to 4 months we’d pack everything up and travel to a new military base for my dad’s new assignment.  By the time I was in middle school, I had lived half of my life overseas in places like Scotland and a tiny 3 mile by 8 mile island off the tip of the boot of Italy.  I loved immersing myself in a new culture and picking up bits of the language.  Even the transfer from South Texas to Southern California was exciting.  I lived right by Sea World and the San Diego Zoo!  I blame this exciting upbringing for my love of travel. 

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