For many middle schoolers, math and science are tricky, boring, and even loathed classes. But for freshman Cara Merkle, the two subjects are not only understood, but adored! Cara's affinity for math and science is so strong, she's dedicating herself to sharing that love and knowledge as a Middle Grades Math & Science Education major. While only in her freshman year, Cara already has her sights set on how her future classroom will motivate and inspire her students in the face of challenging subjects, "I'd really like to have a classroom that makes lessons more engaging and exciting so students can grow to love the subject!"
A little bit about Cara
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I'm from Willow Springs, Illinois.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a freshman in Middle Grades Math & Science Education.
Q: What do you enjoy about your college experience so far?
A: I enjoy being amongst all my peers and partaking in various activities campus has to offer. I also really enjoy being a part of RSOs, such as Epsilon Delta and Student Education Association, as well as being in my sorority.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I started working and volunteering with kids in the beginning of high school and seeing their positivity and energy always made me feel very happy! I also did a teaching internship senior year where I learned so much. It also felt amazing when I was helping students who were struggling with the material and when they understood it and they had a spotlight moment, it really made my day!
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: All faculty members go out of their way to help you and make sure you feel comfortable!
Q: What is your favorite professor, or course? Why?
A: Professor Flanagan (STAT 100) is my favorite so far because she was super engaging and understanding during this crazy covid semester.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I was in the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker in 7th grade!
Q: Tell us about any research you've done and the mentorship you've received from your instructors?
A: I'm working with the International Office in the College of Education alongside graduate students and other undergrads to develop a club for students all across the world. The goal is to increase global competency in middle grades students. I've been working on it since last September and I'm really enjoying it!
Q: Tell us about your future career plans after graduating and why you want to persue that field.
A: While it's a ways ahead, when I graduate I would like to teach math and/or science to middle grades students. Math and science have always been my favorite subjects and I know that these two subjects (especially math) can be a bit more challenging and sometimes boring for students, so I'd really like to have a classroom that makes lessons more engaging and exciting so students can grow to love the subject!
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