Meet The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation Educators!
Sarah Troy (Solar Sarah) is our Program Director and lead instructor for many of our hands-on programs. She is a true educator, through and through. Her passion for science has always been a vital component of her education, beginning at Penn State as a biology major. Her passion for education eventually took over and she switched majors from biology to education, ultimately earning a B.S. in elementary education.
Sarah spent 7 years in the classroom, always engaging her students in the curriculum through hands-on creativity and exploration. Eventually, Sarah took her strong interest in science and teaching and combined them when she joined The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation staff 5 years ago. Every classroom teacher (and student!) who experiences her teaching skills and enthusiasm during our program, sings her praises.
Gracene Sirianno (Galaxy Gracene) is also a lead S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation instructor. Her background includes a degree in education, a master’s degree in curriculum development, and 17 years of public school teaching. Galaxy Gray joined our staff when she wanted something more flexible than a school teaching position, and she is thrilled to share her love for teaching as well as love for nature, the environment and other science topics with young learners. She is passionate about experiential science education reaching all students, regardless of socio-economic status.
Rachel Lally (Radioactive Rachel) holds a BA in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in education from Colgate University and a Master in Public Health with a focus on child and mental health and education. Rachel has 13 years of experience working in the field of medical research, including administrative oversight of all research at Columbia University. While at Columbia, she was also the Chair of the Education Committee responsible for the regulatory and ethical education of researchers from the undergraduate to professional levels in both academic and training scenarios.
Radioactive Rachel joined The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation team in October of 2015 and has been contributing to the scientific development and teaching of lessons for all applicable grade levels, K-4, and across all S.P.A.R.K.S. sites.
Dani DiPietro (DNA Dani) comes to our foundation with 20 years of experience teaching science to students. She has worked with all age levels, and has taught in the US and many other countries: China, Ghana, Croatia, Ecuador and Romania to name a few. She has also spent time working in Antarctica!
Dani loves to experience different cultures and adventures so she can bring a global perspective into her classroom. Her passion for science runs deep and she hopes to inspire and influence future scientists through The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation, because you just never know where the next Einstein will be found!