History


A timeline describing the history of the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program.

In 2010, Macon Lowman began teaching 6th grade science in rural eastern North Carolina through Teach for America. Her school was in an extremely under-resourced county, where 80% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. They suffered the burdens of growing up in a low-income community, especially when it came to education. Most of them had never left their small town of Windsor, and many were unsure that they would complete high school, let alone attend college.

Letters to a Pre-Scientist was born when Macon realized that her students could use some inspiration from real-world scientists. She teamed up with Anna Goldstein, a scientist who helped to create a network of pen pal volunteers. Macon’s students were absolutely thrilled to receive letters, and the experience substantially improved their writing abilities, as well as their awareness of other cultures. Having mentors and seeing the great opportunities that are available to them through science strengthened their desire for education.

Letters to a Pre-Scientist has grown since then, running in three classrooms per year from 2013-2016, and adding a few additional classes per year until over 20 classrooms and 1,650 students participated in 2019-2020. During the 2020-2021 school year, Letters to a Pre-Scientist will run in 21 classrooms and reach approximately 1,500 students in CA, OH, IL, SC, and LA.

LPS teachers over the years:

2020-2021

Meet the 2020-21 teachers!

2019-2020

Stacie Cocca (Santa Ana, CA) Kelsey Cronmiller (Santa Ana, CA) William Gabriel (Los Angeles, CA)
Robin Gerzema (Cayce, SC) Charlene Greene (Columbus, GA) Amanda Haney (Euclid, OH)
Bridget Heneghan (Chicago, IL) Allison Hoyle (DePue, IL) Stacy Katzenstein (Moreno Valley, CA)
Nahdia Kchouri (Moreno Valley, CA) Robin Kreger (Braithwaite, LA) Melissa Kwan (National City, CA)
Annette Licata (Baldwin Park, CA) Kara Lorenzana (Los Angeles, CA) Ed Mallillin (Southern CA)
Sarah Murphy (Chicago, IL) Kevin Ohama (Elk Grove, CA) Alex Pinto (Cayce, SC)
Jamie Radford (Braithwaite, LA) Morgan Stevenson (Burney, CA) Salma Shehto (Moreno Valley, CA)
Mark Verbryke (Santa Maria, CA) Julie Wojnar (Euclid, OH) Michele Zollars (Northern CA)

2018-2019

Stacie Cocca (Santa Ana, CA) Kelsey Cronmiller (Santa Ana, CA) Samantha Farmer (South Bend, IN)
Amanda Haney (Euclid, OH) Calypso Harmon (Santa Cruz, CA) Bridget Heneghan (Chicago, IL)
Marc Kessler (Paradise, CA) Sarah Murphy (Chicago, IL) Kevin Ohama (Elk Grove, CA)
Alex Pinto (Cayce, SC) Bev Sutton (Tuscon, AZ) Julie Wojnar (Euclid, OH)

2017-2018

Samantha Farmer (South Bend, IN) Amanda Haney (Euclid, OH) Calypso Harmon (Santa Cruz, CA)
Bridget Heneghan (Chicago, IL) Tara Kawalec (Northglenn, CO) Paige Norberg (San Francisco, CA)
Kevin Ohama (Elk Grove, CA) Julie Wojnar (Euclid, OH) Joyce Yoon (Los Angeles, CA)

2016-2017

Marcy Burns (Norwalk, OH) Bridget Heneghan (Chicago, IL) Lucy Madden (Los Angeles, CA)
Tanique Origgio (South Bronx, NY) Julie Wojnar (Euclid, OH) Stephanie Lane (South Bronx, NY)
Sarah Henning (Tulsa, OK)

2015-2016

Stephanie Alexander (Orlando, FL) Lucy Madden (Los Angeles, CA) Oscar Vanegas (Los Angeles, CA)

2014-2015

Lucy Madden (Irving, CA) Kate Mullen (Weldon, NC) Johanna Jorgensen Parker (Weldon, NC)

2013-2014

Carly Goldberg (Chicago, IL) Johanna Jorgensen Parker (Weldon, NC) Lauren Murdock (Chicago, IL)

2012-2013

Lucy Madden (Durham, NC)

2010-2011

Macon Lowman (Windsor, NC)