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Q&A with Aala Al Hasan

Q: Where and what do you teach?
A: I teach 9th grade Algebra 1 and Pre-AP Algebra 1 at Elsik Ninth Grade Center in Houston, TX.

Q:How long have you been a full-time teacher?
A: I have been teaching for three years now.

Q: Can you briefly describe your STAR research experience(s):
A: I have interned at three different places during my STAR years. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), I built an artificial snow machine that will be used for indoor testing, and at NASA Armstrong I was part of the X-57 all electric aircraft research team where I tested the efficiency of batteries, and lastly at Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) I worked on studying the solid-liquid interface where I identified unknown substances by identifying the peaks of the mass spectra.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job as a teacher?
A: I love that I can teach my students that they have so much potential in themselves to become who they want to be no matter what difficulties they face in life.

Q: How has your STAR experience influenced your classroom teaching and the ways that you engage your students in STEM disciplines and research practices?
A: It keeps my classroom interesting where students want to learn more.

Q: How have the personal and professional connections that you made during your STAR experience benefited you, your students, and/or your school community?
A: I have been introduced to groups and organizations for teachers throughout my STAR experiences that allows me to become a better teacher for my students in my content area. I have learned tips from other fellows and was able to attend different professional development workshops geared towards STEM education.