Dr. Stephanie Chasteen, who blogs at sciencegeekgirl, is a physicist, a writer, an education consultant and an audiophile who climbs mountains in her spare time.
While earning her doctorate in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Chasteen got restless. She realized that though she loved science, research wasn’t her bag; she wanted to communicate science to the public. She began taking journalism classes and freelancing while continuing her physics courses and research. After being selected for a prestigious science communication fellowship through the AAAS, she was placed at NPR’s science desk in Washington, D.C., as an intern.
Upon graduation, Chasteen landed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, where she helped teach science to K-12 teachers, and created science podcasts on teaching tips for K-12 teachers. Chasteen now works at the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying how people learn physics.
In an interview with findingEducation, Chasteen likened her career path to that of heat-seeking bacteria: “I looked for what seemed interesting and intellectually ‘warm’ and moved in that direction and then reassessed.”
fE: When did you first become interested in science?
SC: Back in middle school. I remember, ironically enough in home economics class, hearing a physicist described as “somebody who learned how the world works” and I thought that sounded pretty cool. So I thought, “Oh. Maybe that’s what I’ll do.” I also came from an academic family so it wasn’t that big of a leap for me to consider going into science.