Meet Lauren, a science teacher who’s a former cheerleader for the Philadelphia Souls (Arena Football League) and current coach of their Junior Dance Team and several other teams!
SciCheer: What turned you on to science?
Lauren: “Just add some pizzazz!” said my 7th grade teacher Mrs. Hough. She was the first person who really made science come to life for me. She taught Life Science and always had us getting our hands dirty. One time she told us to bring in leftovers from lunch and she blended them and put them through various tubes and tights to show us what happens to our food while it runs through the digestive system!
SciCheer: Cool! So, which came first? Your interest in science or cheerleading?
Lauren: After the 7th grade science was my favorite subject, I dabbled into cheerleading in the middle school and not until college did I realize how much I loved being part of a team.
SciCheer: Can you describe a typical day for you?
Lauren: I teach math and science in a middle school. Some of their favorite activities have been dropping eggs from the roof to study kinetic energy, building a rain-forest display on an bulletin board, and making virtual tours of planets to study the solar-system. Afterwards I teach dance at a local studio and meet with my Junior Dance teams on the weekends for 3 hour practices. I am the Head Coach for several other Platinum All Star Dance Teams, too.
SciCheer: Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream or another?
Lauren: Unfortunately, T.V. depicts women scientist as living unattractive life-styles. I am encouraged by my fellow teammates to study more than just dance and cheer. Do what YOU love to do: cheer, dance, study chemical engineering… just make sure it is something you want to do!
SciCheer: Along these lines, what advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Lauren: If I could speak to my 12 year-old self I would say, “Don’t worry about the braces, the frizzy hair, or the late nights working on a science project…it all works out in the end and very much worth the wait!”
SciCheer: Best cheerleading experience?
Lauren: The first time I put on my Philadelphia Soulmate’s jersey with my name on the back and performed in front of the fans. The rush of running out of the tunnel, hitting our set, and nailing my first routine as a professional cheerleader.  I will never forget the experience!
SciCheer: Best science-related experience?
Lauren: I asked my students to make a ball land in a bucket 3 meters away using random supplies. It was thrilling to watch them develop methods to make it happen: Catapults, roller-coaster outlines, simple push and pull mechanisms. I love being a science teacher!
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