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Meet Our Teacher Collaborators

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Lori Zimmerman

2nd Grade Teacher - Arthur Street Elementary School

My name is Lori Zimmerman.  I have been teaching for 24 years, 22 of those years have been in the Hazleton Area School District.  I began my career as an itinerant special education learning support teacher.  I then transitioned into teaching kindergarten and currently teach second grade at Arthur Street Elementary. I enjoy teaching students to learn and challenge myself every year to make learning enjoyable for all of my students.  I love watching the achievements each student makes in a school year and celebrating in their progress.  I see my classroom as a family and try to promote emotional intelligence in hopes that my students leave my classroom kinder, happier as well as smarter. I love the changes I have seen in my classroom and students since collaborating with Penn State and incorporating Science 20/20.  Science is a level playing field and allows students to be heard.  Science gives students a voice that is often never heard in other subjects!

Rethinking Family Engagement

Watch as Ms. Zimmerman explains the ways in which she has revamped the school open house experience to provide a more inclusive and interactive experience for families. In addition, you will see the ways that students are included in the planning and preparation for open house. 


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Allyson Trella

3rd Grade Math Teacher - Heights Terrace Elementary & Middle School

My name is Allyson Trella. This year will be my 30th year of teaching. I have an Early Childhood and Elementary degree from Elizabethtown College and a Master’s in Early Childhood from Bloomsburg University. I have taught every grade level from Pre-K through 8th grade. I currently teach 3rd grade Math at Height Terrace Elementary School. I decided to join the Science 20/20 project because I had been uncomfortable teaching science and wanted to improve my skills as I began teaching science again. Although I joined the Science 20/20 Project more for my own learning, I have found the project to be incredibly beneficial to my students. Hearing my students talk during science investigations helped me realize how much they know and pick up from the world around them. This is something that I don’t often get to learn about them in the other disciplines I teach. 

Engaging Students with Notice and Wonder

In this photo, Mrs. Tella and her students are discovering which items sink or float as a part of a larger sequence of sustained science investigations about the properties of matter with 3rd-grade students. Allyson is facilitating this lesson in a hybrid teaching model with students learning at home and in person concurrently.

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Teila McNulty

Special Education Teacher - Heights Terrace Elementary & Middle School

My name is Teila McNulty. I have been a special education teacher for eight years in the Hazleton Area School District. I currently teach kindergarten through third grade at Heights Terrace Elementary & Middle School. I decided to join Science 20/20 because I wanted to get my students excited about learning, particularly in a new content area that they haven’t been exposed to much in the past. I have found Science 20/20 has really helped me as a teacher, but it has also been important for my students in finding their voices and their love and passion for learning.

Testing Predictions

In this picture, a student in Miss McNulty’s class was using clay and other materials to determine what will float and sink. This was the second lesson in a sustained investigation during which the students practiced making predictions in order to test their predictions to collect data.

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Taylor Tarone-Sefchik

4th Grade Teacher - Heights Terrace Elementary & Middle School

My name is Taylor Tarone-Sefchik.  I am a fourth-grade teacher at Heights Terrace Elementary & MIddle School in the Hazleton Area School District.  I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Wilkes University.  My undergraduate degree is from Bloomsburg University, and I hold a pre-K-4 Pennsylvania Teaching Certification.  I joined Science 20/20 to try something new to engage my students. It is exciting for me to see my students come out of their shells to try new things and be curious about the world around them.

Engaging Students with Notice and Wonder

In this photo, Mrs. Tarone-Sefchick is working with students in a Hybrid model to discuss and explore craters on the Moon and their formations. Students were working with a mixture of flour and baby oil, which created a “surface-like” replica of the Moon. Students then used various objects of different sizes and weights to create the craters and make observations and explorations.

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Katie Frumkin

Kindergarten Teacher - Hazle Twp. Early Learning Center

My name is Catherine Frumkin but I prefer to go by Katie.  I have been teaching kindergarten for the past 14 years.  I have taught at four different schools.  The first year of teaching was split between Hazle Elementary and the Castle. I then taught at Arthur Street Elementary for seven years and finally the last six have been here at the Hazle Township Early Learning Center.  The very first class I have ever taught graduated last year, so yes, I do feel old.  I hold certifications in elementary education K-6, ESL specialist, and a pre-k-12 principals certificate. After 14 years, I still love teaching kindergarten! The most incredible part is the amount of growth these little learners make in just one school year! Science 20/20 has been an integral part in bringing my students out of their shells! They love to share everything they notice and wonder in their surroundings. This program has helped my students to develop critical thinking skills by making connections across topics as well as building language skills. The best part is how excited my students get when it is science time! They are learning and having a blast at the same time!

Kindergartners Wonder About Hissing Cockroaches

In this photo, Ms. Frumkin supports her kindergartners as they investigate their classroom Madagascar hissing cockroaches and share all that they notice and wonder. Ms. Frumkin is careful to record her students' ideas in order to inform their future scientific investigations.

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Heather Stefanik

Kindergarten Teacher - Hazle Twp. Early Learning Center

My name is Heather. Stefanik. I have been a kindergarten teacher for fifteen awesome years!  Currently, I am a teacher at Hazle Township Early Learning Center, which is located in Hazle Township.  I love teaching kindergarten because for many of them it is the year of "firsts."  By that I mean the "first" time they do or learn something new and exciting!  I feel blessed that I am the person that gets to experience their "firsts" with them. The Science 20/20 program has allowed me to become a more in-depth teacher.  I look at how and what I am teaching my students and try to guide them to become deep thinkers.  Students are learning to become better problem solvers, are excited to have more ownership during class, and more lessons are open-ended giving students a chance to realize that there is more than one explanation or answer!

Kindergartners Learn to Compare and Contrast in Science

In this photo, Mrs. Stefanik supports her kindergartners as they investigate their classroom hissing cockroaches.  The next step in this process is compare and contrast the parts of a hissing contract with those of a different organism.

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Brittney Tarapchak

1st Grade Teacher - Hazle Twp. Early Learning Center

My name is Brittney Tarapchak. I am a first grade teacher at the Hazle Township Elementary School. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bloomsburg University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. In the fall of 2015, I began substitute teaching in the Hazleton Area School District. I subbed daily for two years. In that time, I had numerous long-term positions. In 2017, I was hired as a full-time teacher in the Hazleton Area School District. I was placed in first grade at the Hazle Township Early Learning Center, which is where I am still teaching. (I actually teach in the same elementary school that I went to!—my current classroom was my 6th grade math class.) I just completed my third year of teaching this year. In May of 2020, I graduated with a Master's Degree in Education from Wilkes University. It’s really hard for me to pick just one thing I love most about teaching because there are so many things I love about what I do. For me, my top choice would be a toss-up between seeing those “ah-ha” moments that students have when they finally get something you’ve been working on, or the rapport and relationship you build with each student. I feel so lucky to have a career where I can become such a strong influence and support in a child’s life and be able to see how much they grow and flourish throughout the year. I love participating in Science 20/20. This program has taught me such a different way of teaching and thinking. I enjoy watching how excited the students get when it’s time to do science, and how differently they interact and problem-solve when given an open-ended investigation. Science has really given my students more of an opportunity to work together, think outside of the box, and engage in their higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills.

1st Graders Use Their Senses

In this photo, Ms. Tarapchak supports her first graders during science class as they learn to write predictions about their senses while participating in a lesson about notice and wonder.

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Sarah Molli

2nd Grade Teacher - Hazle Twp. Early Learning Center

My name is Sarah Molli. I am a graduate of Bloomsburg University. I have been teaching in the Hazleton Area School District since 2014. I taught one year in first grade and was then promoted to second grade, where I am currently teaching. I love every aspect of teaching. Having the opportunity to see the excitement that happens when students learn something new is so rewarding. I have been part of Science 20/20 for three years now and it has been a gratifying experience. Science offers the students the ability to notice and wonder about the world around them. The students grow so much through being able to discuss and share their ideas. Science opens up greater opportunities for students to have more open conversations on topics that they can build upon. Hearing the conversations and the learning taking place through science is astounding. Also, being a positive role model is something I take very seriously with my students. Because I teach in a K-2 building, I don’t see the students as they move on to higher grades, so I do my best to make a good impact on their lives. I hope they are able to take all of the lessons with them through their future.

2nd Graders Notice and Wonder

In this photo, Mrs. Molli supports her second graders during science class as they learn to record what they notice and wonder about evaporation during their study of clouds and the water cycle. 

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