CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY TEACHER
Summit Preparatory Charter High School
Redwood City, California
Howard Shen was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up map-hopping from Cleveland to Bridgeport, West Virginia, to Taipei, Taiwan, to Cupertino, California, and then back to Bridgeport for high school. Howard graduated from Stanford University with a BS in chemistry and a minor in computer science.
On track to becoming a doctor, Howard decided halfway through college that he did not want to pursue a career in medicine. “I discovered I enjoyed helping others and what seemed appealing was teaching.” He earned an MA in education from Stanford University. Howard began his career at Summit as a student teacher and immediately fell in love with the school. “I felt it was simply an amazing school—a place where all of the faculty knew and liked each other, where the students felt at home, and where teaching reform was everyday, not earth-shattering.”
In a recent lesson, Howard’s students observed a grain of salt dissolve in a glass of water on a magnified screen and then wrote their thoughts on the process. This experiment is one of the many ways Howard brings chemistry to life for his class, allowing students to literally see science. Howard aspires to push all his students to learn, “at both the A end and the C end.”