William Smith High School
Andria Ping loved math and chemistry in high school so pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines was a natural choice. Unsatisfied with career options available to her upon graduation, she decided to focus on bioengineering and enrolled in a PhD program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
At Georgia Tech, Andria researched greener technologies for antibiotic synthesis. While her work was worthwhile and resulted in a published book chapter and two peer-reviewed journal articles, Andria found her teaching experiences much more rewarding. In the fourth year of her program, Andria applied for and was awarded a Student and Teacher Enhancement Partnership (STEP) Program Fellowship, a program that taught her basic skills needed to teach effectively and placed her in a local high school for one day a week.
Andria’s STEP experience surpassed all others, affirming her career choice. “As a chemistry teacher, I consider it my challenge to show students who are not interested why I love science, how it explains the world around us, and how, once in a while, it is simply awe-inspiring.” Andria attended Arvada High School in Arvada, Colo., and is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She has coached Girls on the Run, a program for preteen girls that promotes healthy self-esteem while training for a 5K race.