Jamie Orr is a founder and director of Tahoe Stem Camp and has always been an avid science educator. Passionate about nature and science from an early age, she received her BS in physics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and then went on to obtain a Ph.D in theoretical physics from UC Davis. As an instructor at Foothill College in Silicon Valley, Jamie developed research and curricular programs in renewable energy technology & efficiency, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and 3D printing and also held research privileges at NASA Ames Research Center. Jamie acts as an advocate for science outreach at all ages and is excited to share her knowledge and love of science with the Tahoe community. She teaches the Coding and the STEM Level 2: Physical Science Camps.
David Wise is also a founder and director of Tahoe Stem Camp. Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 with his BS in ocean engineering. During his time at MIT, David was a member of the Marine Robotics Team, Formula SAE Racecar, and worked extensively with the MIT Edgerton Center to bring STEM education to kids in the area. After college, David worked on deep sea submersible robots before moving back to South Lake Tahoe and starting the Tahoe STEM Camp with Dr. Orr. When he isn’t working on the camp, he works full time as a Senior Review Editor for TechGearLab. He teaches the Monster Lab, Ocean Exploration, and How to Make (Almost) Anything Camps.
For the past 3 years, Tasha Thomas as taught and assisted with Tahoe STEM Camp, bringing her deep love and passion for all fields of science. Originally from Connecticut, she graduated from the University of Rhode Island with her BS in Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology. During her time at URI, she worked for the Department of Environmental Management, on a lobster boat and was involved in a graduate project involving wetlands plants. In 2009, she moved to South Lake Tahoe and attended Sierra Nevada College, receiving her Master’s in Education. She now is a Physical Education teacher for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, educating the youth about wellness and importance of an active lifestyle. Tasha also races mountain bikes professionally and when she is not teaching STEM camps in the summer, she is coaching mountain bike camps. She teaches Intro to STEM and aides with Jamie and David in several of the other STEM camps.
Madelyn Rios has taken her experience from both local and global research projects as a wildlife biologist into the classroom. Her keen interest in the natural science was cultivated at UC Davis where she earned a BS in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. To better understand the relationship between public outreach and ecological policy, Madelyn studied the effects of teaching science in an outdoor environment for her graduate thesis at Sierra Nevada College. As an Associate Adjunct in Biology and Environmental Science at Lake Tahoe Community College, Madelyn developed courses in Field Methods of Wildlife Ecology and the Belize Marine Field Program. Currently, she is the PreK-5th Grade Science Teacher at Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Dr. Carl Franz studied biology and and chemistry at Blackburn College. He then joined a lab researching osteoarthritis while earning his MA in biology at Washington University, studying the eastern fence lizard (AKA blue bellied lizard). While working on his PhD in molecular cell biology at Washington University School of Medicine, Carl volunteered to lead a chemistry teaching team for the Young Scientists Program, an organization designed to promote science to underrepresented high school students in the St. Louis area. Since moving to California, Carl has done research in cancer immunotherapy for a biotech company and is currently a chemistry and biology professor at Lake Tahoe Community College. Carl has a deep passion for teaching science to people of all ages and is looking forward to leading the STEM 2: Life Science and Future Doctors camps.