Diving into the Joys of Teaching: The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

By Shirley Klimkiewicz '20
Monday, Jul. 1, 2019

Ever since sophomore year of high school, when a loud and passionate teacher first instilled in me a love for Chemistry, I have planned on pursuing a career inteaching. Now a Chemistry major planning on a Master's in Education post-graduation, I've dedicated this and last summer to a program that allows me to work closely with a current high school teacher and to develop my skills in the classroom.

As a teaching assistant for the Center for Talented Youth, a country-wide program run by Johns Hopkins University, I have the opportunity to tutor and teach gifted students while they explore Chemistry as it directly applies to society. During three weeks of classes, I help students enrolled in "Chemistry in Society" learn about how their birthstones are formed in nature, substances contributing to water pollution, and the organic chemistry behind food, among other instances of Chemistry in the real world.

Beyond developing skills on classroom management and communicating science to ages 12 to 15, my summer job allows me to learn how to keep students safe and informed in a laboratory setting, as the course involves labs that teach them anything from how many drops of water fit on a penny to how to prepare esters.

Since at Princeton a big part of my school year is dedicated to laboratory research, it's nice to spend the summer gaining experience relevant to my intended career while helping talented youth broaden their knowledge of Chemistry.