Elisabeth McCormack

Elisabeth McCormack, August 2012 C-IMAGE Teacher-at-Sea, from Dunedin Highland Middle School in Dunedin, Florida


Posted by Elisabeth McCormack, C-IMAGE Teacher at Sea

August 29, 2013

I currently teach science in Pinellas County, Florida, which happens to be the same district where I went to school!  For the past few years I have been teaching at Dunedin Highland Middle School’s Center for Gifted Studies. I’ve spent the last five years teaching 7th grade science, but have lots of varied experiences on my resume.  These include a stint as a Coast Guard cadet, one as National Park Service interpreter, a full tour as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, and time selling tacos and ice cream in Alaska! I am always looking for an adventure, and am so excited that C-IMAGE and USF have selected me to participate in the teacher-at-sea program on the R/V Weatherbird’s August cruise into the Gulf of Mexico.

I find that these experiences (and the ongoing adventures that I try to incorporate into my life whenever possible) make me a much better teacher.  One of my favorite comments from students is always “Wow, Miss McCormack, you really have done a lot of stuff!”  It seems an important revelation to many students that their teachers don’t hide under their desks when school lets out!

My  goal as an educator is to encourage students to both observe and interpret the world around them, and to really learn how both ask and answer the really important and interesting questions.  To have the chance to get out there and see real science happening is amazing.  I know it will be hard work, but we are trying to answer important questions about the ongoing impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  I am looking forward to learning about the research being done in the Gulf and to listening to some great sea stories from the scientists.  I want everyone to appreciate the adventure that studying science offers us, and will do my best to share my experiences with you as we go out into the Gulf.