Alumna Gomez volunteers with SeaPerch, STEM Initiative
Michelle Gomez teaches third and fourth grade special education, focusing in English and math, at Galvez Primary in Ascension Parish. She graduated from LSU in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a minor in special education.
Gomez always wanted to be a teacher. In high school, she took a class called S.T.A.R., Students Teaching and Reaching. She observed an elementary classroom, middle school classroom, and high school classroom, experiences that encouraged her dream.
“Those initial observations helped me to make my decision to become an elementary school teacher,” Gomez said. “I have always been a Tiger fan. Choosing to attend LSU to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher was not a hard choice to make.”
While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Gomez conducted observations, student-taught, and tutored at several schools in Baton Rouge, including Woodlawn Elementary, Brusly Elementary, Magnolia Woods Elementary, and Tanglewood Elementary.
“Teaching is my passion and I am always looking for opportunities to learn and grow in order to improve my instruction,” said Gomez. “I am a lifelong learner and I believe that there is always room for growth and improvement. My ultimate desire as a teacher is to have a purposeful and positive impact on my students.”
When asked what her favorite aspect of teaching is, Gomez said, “interacting with my student’s everyday. Going to work every day and watching them grow and learn is a blessing. I believe that they are teaching me much more than I could ever teach them. I look forward to their smiling faces every day.”
In her last semester at LSU, Michelle enrolled in EDCI 3125 with School of Education Professor Dr. Bridgette Davis, which also became her introduction to SeaPerch, a program with a curriculum that empowers teachers to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into the classroom.
“Prior to taking her class, I did not have much interest in science. Through taking her course and being involved in SeaPerch, I realized my love for science,” said Gomez.
Along with teaching full time in the School of Education, Dr. Davis serves as the principal investigator, director, and designer for the Gulf Coast Academy for Science Literacy, in which she is responsible for creating and implementing professional development training for middle school teachers using STEM modules with embedded literacy instruction. Dr. Davis is also the director of the Gulf Coast Regional SeaPerch Challenge.
Gomez now serves on the SeaPerch leadership team as Administrative Assistant to Dr. Davis. In this position, she is responsible for participant and volunteer registration.
“I love seeing the joy on student’s faces as they learn and explore using science content and engineering principles. When I was first introduced to SeaPerch, I was amazed that students were able to build their own robots and were able to maneuver them through various obstacles underwater. I was instantly hooked and wanted to know more about what SeaPerch was all about,” Gomez said.
She volunteered with Dr. Davis at a SeaPerch Challenge event in 2015.
“It was a completely life-changing experience and something that I want to always be a part of,” she said.
In August, Gomez will begin coursework for a Master’s degree in Science Education at LSU. Her long-term goal is to one day obtain her PhD.
“My studies in graduate school will help me to prepare myself in order to better prepare my students,” said Gomez.
You can see Gomez in action in May as LSU hosts the SeaPerch National Challenge. More than 150 teams, each consisting of five to ten middle school students will compete in in-pool technical events with their SeaPerch remote operated vehicles and a juried poster competition.
The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research, and Counseling. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues.
Visit the School of Education at lsu.edu/education
The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.
Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at chse.lsu.edu.