Sixth-12th Educators are invited to join us virtually for the NASA TechRise Educator Workshop on August 27, 2022, 10:00-12:00 PT. Learn more about the challenge, high-altitude balloons, and how to develop a NASA TechRise proposal.
Participants will be able to interact, brainstorm proposal ideas, and engage in live Q&A sessions with educators from TechRise 2021. Whether you teach Science and Engineering or are just excited about inspiring your students to get involved with STEM, 6th-12th-grade educators from all backgrounds are invited to join us for this event!
Check back in soon for an updated agenda! To learn more about the NASA TechRise Student Challenge visit: https://www.futureengineers.org/nasatechrise
Founder & CEO
NASA Flight Opportunities
NASA TechRise Mentor
Director of K12 Engagement
Challenge Support Specialist
Sewanhaka High School
Tornillo High School
Greater Lowell Technical High School
Tooele Community Learning Center
Elizabeth DiVito supports NASA’s Flight Opportunities program with strategic outreach, communications, and project management. She has worked with non-profits, government agencies, and businesses to effectively communicate their missions and implement initiatives that maximize their impact.
Elizabeth loves to travel and has extensive experience living internationally. She holds a dual degree from the University of Florida with a focus in political science and international studies.
Claire Bengtson is a mechanical engineer specializing in robotics and controls. She received her master's degree from the University of Florida in 2021, where she worked in the Angelini Soft Matter Lab building a 3D bioprinter. Prior to that, she worked for the Nonlinear Controls and Robotics Lab building medical rehabilitation devices. She also spent time as a teaching assistant and helped develop an open source engineering textbook. As a teenager, Claire competed in VEX robotics and qualified for the world championship twice. She spent much of her childhood building robots and tinkering with electronics, which grew into a love for engineering. As an adult, she spends her free time hiking the trails of Florida and sculpting.
Jack earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Georgetown University. After working for a number of years in engineering and in business, Jack answered the national call for more highly-qualified math and science teachers in our country’s public schools by applying for a five-year teaching fellowship offered by Math for America that allowed him to earn his Master of Arts in Teaching from Bard College and to begin his teaching career at Sewanhaka High School. He will be starting his 13th year as a teacher this fall.
Dr. Contreras is an El Paso, TX native who received a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). After graduating from UTEP, Dr. Contreras pursued a PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) where he worked at a drug discovery lab under Dr. Amarnath Natarajan. While there, Dr. Contreras participated in research projects and authored and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. His experiences as a mentor to undergraduate and high school students during his graduate studies led him to pursue a career as a teacher. After graduating with a PhD, Dr. Contreras served at Omaha Public Schools as the Director for the Zoo Academy at King Science and Technology Magnet Middle School (KSTM) in Omaha, NE for three years. Dr. Contreras is currently teaching Physics, Pathophysiology, and Dual Credit Biology at Tornillo High School which is part of Tornillo Independent School District in Tornillo, TX. He aims to enhance the STEM opportunities for underserved communities by introducing students to new opportunities that impact local communities and contribute to global efforts to improve our world.
Susan Youens obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, and after that completed a yearlong internship as a mechanical designer/draftsperson. She then worked for two semiconductor industry firms supporting cleanroom equipment manufacturing.
Later she switched industries, completing her master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and subsequently worked for two firms in the biotechnology field. She has supported various technical duties in this professional capacity.
Susan left the corporate work sector about seven years ago and has worked as an engineering technology vocational instructor at a Title 1 vocational high school named Greater Lowell Technical High School in Massachusetts.