Richard Varner

After NASA reduced its Education Portfolio and ended the AESP Project, I have returned to the classroom as an eighth grade science teacher at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Randallstown, MD. My experience is predominantly in the elementary and middle grades having worked as a 6-8 science teacher, team leader, dean, district level curriculum specialist, middle school administrator and NASA Education Specialist.




Deer Park Middle Magnet School

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Recent Posts by Richard

Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:06 AM in Field Trips
Hi Alexis, I have been a science teacher and administrator for most of my career, but after serving in the Education office at NASA's GSFC, I am now the director of the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College. This unique background has made several factors crystal clear for me regarding field trips. #1 on the list is the need to meet the standards that you are planning to achie...

Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:13 AM in STEM to STEAM
Whenever I would creat a special center or activity for the classroom I would look at two aspects of the design.   First, if the content was not directly connected to a topic of study, how could the skills connect to the standards I needed to achieve?  Align the skills and make the connections to the lessons planned and then move to the story the activity was to tell.  Essentially, this center wo...

Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:04 AM in Getting girls involved in Science
Let's admit up front that there is no single reason why girls disengage from the sciences after 7th grade. This is as complex as the bizarre network of social interactions that drive the lives of adolescents and teens. This bias is certainly a concern driven by society as a whole. Let's start with the "pink isle". As the father of two grown daughters and a science teacher, it has always irk...

Recent Reviews by Richard

Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:48 PM
5 One More Thing
A well written article, but I would add one more thing to the check list for field trip organizers who travel with special needs students. Engage the informal education facility destination in your plans before your trip outline is provided for staff and students. I am the director of the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College and our staff routinely works with teachers who ask about accommodations ahead of time. While the center is ADA compliant, we are a center with numerous sensory stimuli. Rocket launches, engaging space simulations, soaring into space through animated or dramatic full dome planetarium programs are the experiences that bring people here. Some students or parents have come to visit before a trip to look for success strategies in a what could be a very challenging site to visit for some children and adults with special needs associated with sensory overload.