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Rachel Clausen

2010 Fellow
Robert E. Lee High School
Springfield, Virginia

Rachel Clausen knows first-hand what it is to overcome challenges.  While a junior at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, MD., she endured open-heart surgery.  She then spent her senior year struggling to slowly run with the cross-country team at her school.  “I have had plenty of challenges in my life to know that nothing comes easy. Educating young adults—without a doubt—is not going to be an exception to that rule.”

While studying as an undergraduate at the Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, Rachel worked as a teaching laboratory assistant for three biology classes.  Her favorite course to assist was for the youngest students, who may not have entirely wanted to be there.  “Such apathy for the sciences was incredibly strange to me, yet extremely intriguing.  It occurred to me that I wanted to teach high school, where even more students struggle with science because of difficulty or pure apathy.”

Rachel is a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant. As a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, she has participated in the sorority’s different philanthropic activities and has volunteered at an urban high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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Growing up with a mother who was a scientist allowed me to find the joy in learning—to think critically about the world. The future of science and science teachers is giving every student the opportunity to gain these skills.

Rachel Clausen
2010 Fellow