A great teacher manages to not only teach content, but also a passion for critical thought, the skills to collaborate effectively, and the confidence to utilize these skills beyond the classroom.”

Claire’s Story

The daughter of a geophysicist and a professor of education, Claire Fassio spent hours as a child surrounded by jars of flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, mixing the ingredients and seeing how they reacted.  She loved science because it was “messy and full of questions.”  In high school, her passion for science subsided and she began to associate it with flash cards.  When Claire took a required chemistry course in college, she was shocked.   “Yes, we were asked to remember specific atomic properties, but we also waded into rivers to record dissolved oxygen levels.”

As she took more science courses, Claire realized that she “liked biology for its growing body of knowledge about how life functions, but loved biology for its ability to inspire critical thought.”  She went on to earn a BS and an MA in biochemistry and molecular biology from Lewis and Clark College and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively.  Claire was a graduate student instructor for a genetics course and helped design and lead professional development workshops for 4th grade teachers to promote inquiry-based education.  She has volunteered with the Great Salt Lake Institute, an organization that uses the lake as an outdoor classroom for K-12 education.

A Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Claire believes that “science is a very creative process that requires participants to be innovative and collaborative.”  She loves spending time outdoors, especially hiking and snowshoeing.  Claire hopes to return to her hometown of Salt Lake City to teach after completing her teaching credential program.