Harding High School
St. Paul, Minnesota
Jenny Goetz grew up surrounded by science. As a child, raised by physicists, “fictitious forces and unstable equilibriums were regular dinner table conversation.” In addition to developing a passion for science, Jenny developed an early interest in teaching and sharing science with others. Yet the decision to commit to teaching as a career was not easy. As the daughter of a professor, Jenny knew that teaching was “synonymous with long hours and a life-long commitment to helping students grow as learners and as people.”
Jenny’s first foray into teaching came when she was named Minnesota’s International Year of Astronomy Student Ambassador. She ran astronomy outreach events and supported programs such as the Public Evenings at the Goodsell Observatory, where she had volunteered throughout middle and high school. Jenny also created an astronomy intensive summer program for middle schoolers, a project which confirmed her chosen profession. “The program was infinitely more challenging than I had expected but it was also equally rewarding, for both the students and myself.”
At Carleton College, Jenny majored in physics and conducted research in solar physics at Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, presenting her work to the American Geophysical Union. Upon graduating from Carleton, Jenny joined Minnesota Math Corps, an AmeriCorps program aimed at 4th through 8th graders below proficiency in math. “I found that every time I taught a lesson I learned more about teaching and the students I work with.” Jenny volunteers as a math and science tutor with St. Paul’s Neighborhood House. She also enjoys ballroom dance, and continues to help the public experience the night sky at the Goodsell Observatory.