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Danielle A. Hartkern
Central Park Middle School


I am 30 years old and have been teaching science for eight years at Central Park Middle School, a NASA Explorer School in New York. In 2005, I was Teacher of the Year for my district of 750 teachers. I received my BS and MS from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York where I was on scholarship for academics, soccer and track at the Division II level. In 2005 I received my National Board Teaching Certification in Early Adolescence Science Ages 11-15. I have worked extensively with the Smithsonian/National Academies helping to develop Science Technology for Children/Middle School units. I spend most of my summers doing professional development with my school district and NASA. In July I studied the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere/Global Warming Workshop with NASA, GLOBE, Colorado State University, NSF and Hampton University at University of Alaska in Anchorage.  I am collaborating with a school in California to study the seasonal differences in climate conditions in both locations. Another exciting opportunity I had was when I went to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California to study robotics and the Mars missions. I have researched with NASA for the History of Winter in Lake Placid, New York looking at ice and snow samples. I have taken five students to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to launch an Orion Sounding Rocket with our experiment on it. I have gone to Space Camp in Canada and Alabama. In Belize I researched sea turtles, mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs with the University of Belize, Texas A & M and the Smithsonian. I organize a yearly student exchange program with a sister NASA Explorer School in Massachusetts. My passions are being able to spend time with my parents, siblings, niece and nephews who live within 30 minutes of each other. I love being with my friends, traveling, teaching science, learning, playing soccer, and enjoying the outdoors whether it is biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, running or snow shoeing. I never know what new and exciting adventures are around the corner, so I run to get there.

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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated:February 2006
Students Contact: Loretta Hidalgo
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe