Meet our Summer Camp Teachers
James Pike is a teacher and curriculum writer based out of Los Angeles. For the past 6 years James has been using Minecraft to teach math, science, game-design and film. James has published 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Common Core math lessons for Minecraft Education Edition. He loves to use Minecraft in the classroom because it’s more than a game, it’s a unique platform for creation.
Kwesi Johnson is an educator and filmmaker from Boston, MA. His work has been screened at the Pan African Film Festival, the Black Star Film Festival, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and more. As a professional editor, he has worked for such organizations as the American Heart and Lung Association, Gunpowder and Sky, and the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.
Kwesi is also an educator with over 15 years experience teaching film. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts and Massachusetts College of Art, he currently lives in Whittier, CA with his wife and 2 children.
Lana Willis has worked in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School district for 23 years as a teacher, science trainer, and a technology trainer. In 1998, she started working at Youth Science Center as a science teacher. After a few years, she held the YSC Coordinator position at Baldwin Academy and Sparks Elementary. She is a fourth grade teacher and Gifted Program coordinator at Sparks Elementary during the regular school year. Her favorite subjects have always been science, math, and technology. She is extremely honored to be the YSC principal this summer at the Bixby Elementary location.
Lyle Graduated from Biola University, La Mirada, CA majoring in Social Science. He received his Minor in Industrial Education from Cal State, Long Beach. From 1973 to 2003 he taught Electronics at La Puente High School. He also taught Woodworking at the Hacienda-La Puente Adult School for many years. From 2003 to 2008 he was an Adjunct Professor for Electronics at Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA. He is married to Sharon and has 2 grown sons in the field of Engineering. Lyle has taught for the YSC since 2004 – Woodworking, Rocketry, and Electronics. He is now teaching a new course in Laser cutting and Arduino technology.
Mrs. Teddy Sachs has been teaching since 1989 and has taught with Youth Science Center for the last 15 years. She attended Cal State Fullerton for her Bachelor’s of Science degree and Grand Canyon University for her Master’sDegree in Curriculum and Instruction. She holds both a primary and secondary educational credential and currently teaches at Rancho Starbuck Intermediate School in Whittier. Mrs. Sachs is a two-time Teacher of the Year for both Youth Science Center and for Lowell Joint School District. In addition, Mrs. Sachs has been an educational consultant to Burbank Unified School District and Saratoga School District, in Northern California.
Pat Smith experienced the joys of science for 28 years as a Science Coordinator for the Whittier City School District. For 11 years, she collaborated with scientists from Caltech and the Lawrence Hall of Science to develop the K-8th grade science program called S.E.A.R.C.H. (Science Education Actively Realized in Students’ Hands) – an Inquiry-STEM based program that is still thriving after 21 years. For the program, Pat received the prestigious Golden Bell Award in 2010.
Pat’s experiences as a grant writer (netting over $280,000) and reader for the CA State Dept. of Education Environmental Grant Program well positioned her both as the YSC Minigrant Chairman and Student Essay Judge. As a former educator at Cal Poly University, Pomona and as a mentor to teachers in science education, she continues to share her passion in developing and delivering curriculum for Home School Programs and G.A.T.E. Academies.
As the most tenured teacher for YSC, Pat presents over 32 self-designed classes for the Summer Science Camp and the Starlab Portable Planetarium. She was awarded “YSC Teacher of the Year” at its 25th Anniversary Gala. Her greatest accolade is when her students proclaim they want to pursue a science career!
Ms. Bendlin Trevino has been teaching science in HLPUSD for 14 years. She also coaches for the FLL robotics team at her school. Ms. Bendlin Trevino was part of a committee to develop and teach the STEAM curriculum in the middle schools for the district and is an active committee member for many of the various science committees within the district.