Meet the Instructors
Mr. Boonstra has thirty-four years of experience as an educator. Don has been a
teacher, Math and Science Department Chair, Director of College Counseling, Curriculum
Coordinator, Principal, NASA Education Specialist and Coordinator of the NASA Student
Observation Network. His emphasis has been on development of innovative programs
and curriculum. In the process he has kept current with education research, curriculum
innovation and management techniques. Don has designed innumerable courses to include
more innovative methodology, especially the use of computers for data acquisition
and manipulation and communication.
He has led education teams to develop programs using educational research and best
practices in education. He has led teams to design and implement a unique K-10 Science
Curriculum for learning disabled students, to design and implement a high school
for learning disabled students, and to convert high school science curricula to
the physics-first model complete with the alignment of math objectives. Don has
successfully incorporated NASA mission and program science into activities, lessons,
and units using best practices in educational design. All of his products have gone
through NASA Product Review with Exemplary ratings. His highly successful inquiry-based,
virtual learning environment, Student Observation Network, has been recognized as
a template for best practices in on-line learning and is promoted by NASA Explorer
Schools. Don runs his own educational consulting business, Sustainability Schools
Dr. Matthew Bobrowsky
Dr. Matthew Bobrowsky has been teaching at the college level for over 20 years.
He serves on the science advisory committee for his local school district and has
been awarded a number of grants for K-12 professional development in science. He
has received numerous teaching awards, including the University of Maryland Board
of Regents' Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.
Dr. Bobrowsky is currently employed in the Department of Physics at the University
of Maryland. In that capacity, he teaches physics, carries out research, and is
the director of the Physics Department's Lecture-Demonstration Facility -- a collection
of over 1,400 physics demonstrations. You can visit the Facility's Web site:
Previously, Dr. Bobrowsky was an astronomer at the (Hubble) Space Telescope Science
Institute, working as a science content specialist for the Origins Education Forum
-- a NASA educational group concerned with the origin of galaxies, stars, planets,
and life. He was responsible for collecting and researching scientific information
related to NASA's Origins missions and presenting it in a form appropriate to various
educational and public audiences. Dr. Bobrowsky wrote educational material (e.g.,
K-12 science activities and lessons) and prepared presentations for educational
In his astronomical research, Dr. Bobrowsky has made astronomical observations with
many telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope. His specialty is the study
of planetary nebulae -- clouds of gas expanding outward from aging stars.
Dr. Bobrowsky lectures widely on the process of science, the Hubble Space Telescope,
science vs. pseudoscience, why intelligent design is not science, and dealing with
students who are skeptical of the age of the earth, the age of the universe, and
biological evolution. His most popular lecture is "How Big, How Far" -- a fascinating
portrayal of the sizes and distances of planets, stars, and galaxies. Finally, for
2009, the International Year of Astronomy, he has a special presentation in commemoration
of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of the telescope: "Telescopes: Giant
Eyes on Earth and in Space"
More information about Dr. Bobrowsky can be found at:
Dr. Toni Ivey
Dr. Toni Ivey is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Oklahoma State University
(OSU). Her background includes a B.S. in Geology from Texas A&M University (TAMU).
While pursuing a Master’s degree in Geology, Dr. Ivey found a passion for science
teaching, became certified to teach high school science, and completed a Master’s
in Curriculum and Instruction from TAMU. She taught Integrated Physics and Chemistry,
Chemistry, and Physics at MacArthur High School, Aldine ISD in Houston, TX. While
in the classroom, Dr. Ivey took on many leadership roles at the campus- and district-levels
and helped in the development of science curriculum materials. Dr. Ivey began full-time
doctoral studies at TAMU in 2005 as a Policy Research Initiative in Science Education
(PRISE) Research Scholar; PRISE was a 5-year study funded by the National Science
Foundation (Grant No. ESI-0455679) to study the state-of-the-state of the science
teacher professional continuum in Texas. Dr. Ivey’s research interests include beginning
science teacher induction, in-service teacher professional development, education
policy, and geoscience education.
Dr. Julie Angle
Dr. Julie Angle was a high school science teacher for 25 years in NW Oklahoma. She achieved national board certification in 2003 and a PhD in 2006. In addition to teaching science, Julie coached science fair for 17 years where her students qualified for and competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Julie was a state finalist for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in 2007, and a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) in 2005 and 2007. She served as one of 13 members of the Oklahoma state textbook adoption committee for three years and as a board member for the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association for twelve years. In 2008 Julie was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow where she worked in Arlington, Virginia at the National Science Foundation in the Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI). During her fellowship at OCI she was in charge of the Learning and Workforce Development program which helps to bridge the gap between authentic computational research and K-20 learning.
Dr. Angle is currently an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University where she is the secondary science education coordinator for the College of Education. Julie has a dual research interest - the teaching of evolution in public schools, and the characteristics of teachers who coach students in science fair competitions - both of which focus on the nature of science and teacher efficacy.