Michelle Dowell | Episcopal Collegiate School | Physics Teacher/Science Department Chair
Career Evolution…I was lucky to have an inspirational physics teacher my senior year of high school. I always enjoyed science, but I became enraptured by physics. I put this together with my talent for explaining classroom concepts to fellow classmates and knew that physics education would be an exciting career choice for me. I am unusual as a physics educator in that I went to college and took coursework that led me directly into physics teaching.
LOVE the Work …I live for those moments when students go “Whaaaa?” or “That’s soooo cool!” When these moments are experienced, there is nothing like it. The synergy between myself and the students in the classroom takes on an energy all its own. We become more than the subject matter – we become explorers together with me simply as a guide.
Surprising but True…I think young women would be surprised by how much respect and admiration there are for female perspectives. We contribute to science conversations voices with different backgrounds and experiences that can approach science in a way that may have been neglected.
Advice…Walk with confidence. You are worthy and capable. Do not hesitate to show knowledge or lack of knowledge. Be curious. Ask questions. Share your opinion. Be slow to take offense. But most importantly, be yourself. You are awesome just the way you are. Consider yourself on a journey of exploration and enjoy the adventure!
These wonder women are redefining what “full STEAM ahead” means in Arkansas. With exciting careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – each reflects WIT (Women in Tech) and true grit for making the most of every opportunity. Here’s to the powHER of knowledge.
Photography by Sarah Oden