Kathy Blanton’s instructional experience is vast. Before joining STEMscopes, she taught math, health, and science to several different grade levels, and is now entering her eighth year of teaching seventh-grade science at Rodeo Palms Junior High at Alvin ISD, a large suburban district south of Houston. It’s her extensive experience and passion for teaching that’s made her the perfect fit for writing science curriculum at STEMscopes, where she currently works a second full-time position.
How did Kathy get started with STEMscopes? During the 2011-2012 school year, Kathy participated in the Rice Elementary Model STEM Lab (REMSL) program, a year-long professional development program that helps Greater Houston Area teachers improve their STEM content knowledge. Following the program in 2012, STEMscopes reached out to Kathy to ask if she’d be interested in writing for its science program over the summer. Her answer was yes, and she’s been a part of the STEMscopes family ever since.
Over the years, Blanton has brought her passion and love of science to the forefront of her work. As Becki Weems, a STEMscopes Science Project Manager noted, "Kathy is a fantastic teacher who has shared her brilliance with the writing team since STEMscopes began at Rice University. In the classroom, she is a real-life ‘Ms. Frizzle,’ bringing her spark of energy and passion for science, and an occasional live animal, to her students and the writing team.”
While the pandemic has brought on a new set of challenges for everyone, Blanton continues to garner praise and appreciation from the STEMscopes curriculum team. “Not being able to work with Kathy in person this last summer made work just bland as we’ve worked side-by-side for the prior six years, before the COVID-19 pandemic called for a work-from-home situation,” Weems explained. “That said, glimpses of her creativity can be found in every science edition we have across the country as well as internationally."
Blanton herself admits that, “as stressful as teaching can be, especially this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, she still can’t see herself doing anything else. Like they say, it truly is a calling, and I heard it screaming at me thirteen years ago.”
When she’s not teaching or writing curriculum, Blanton can be found spending time with her nine-year-old niece, who frequently visits her aunt’s house to play and perform fun science experiments. Blanton hopes to influence and conjure up the same love that she has for science in her niece.
In addition to her love of family, she thoroughly enjoys collaborating with teachers from across the state in her role at STEMscopes. “Throughout my last seven years at STEMscopes, I have made many wonderful friends that I look forward to seeing every summer.” Likewise, STEMscopes is honored to have Kathy Blanton as part of the curriculum team and share her story with others.