I want to make sure that all students feel that they are smart enough to think like scientists.
Amanda Hanna 2011 Fellow
2011 Fellow Boston Arts Academy Boston, Massachusetts
Amanda Hanna decided to become a scientist when she first took high school chemistry. Her parents, who are both scientists, instilled in her a lifelong love of learning. A supportive and enthusiastic high school chemistry teacher motivated Amanda to pursue a career as a scientist and eventually as a science teacher. Amanda recognizes the “logical and rigorous inquisitiveness” that science requires and aims to bring her passion to the Boston Public Schools where she hopes to make an impact on her students and the community.
Upon completing a PhD in biophysics at Harvard University, Amanda decided to turn her lifelong interest in teaching and mentoring into a career. Her decision was confirmed when one of her students, who had previously described herself as “bad in science,” perfectly captured the idea of a lesson on density. Since then, Amanda has always seized “on moments like these, displaying as much enthusiasm as possible when students critically analyze observations and notice patterns.”
Amanda attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and graduated summa cum laude from New York University where she earned a BS in chemistry and was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Excellence in Education scholarship. Amanda spent a year in the Boston Teacher Residency program, where she became newly aware of the complex issues of race and poverty in urban education, and developed a new awareness of herself and of her role in her students’ lives. Amanda looks forward to teaching in schools “where the quality of education has been historically low.”