Dr. Laurel Pederson - Science 8-12 and Electives

Hello New Friends:

My name is Laurel Pederson and I am so thrilled to be able to share in the exciting times that are coming for science at the Butte Falls Charter School and the Natural Resource Center.  

I grew up in Spokane, Washington and when I was in high school I was involved in Speech and Debate and National Honor Society.  I then went to Eastern Washington University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Pre-Med, with a Minor in French and Anthropology.  My plan was to study medicine and neuroscience, however, I was meant to follow another path. After several years of working as an Industrial Chemist, a Pharmaceutical Scientist and a Hemodialysis Technician, Phlebotomist, and Laboratory Technician, I decided to be a teacher.  How could I not? My mother taught elementary school with a focus on science, art, and creativity, my father taught woodshop, metal shop, auto body, and driver education, and my grandmother taught K-12 in one-room schoolhouses.  Teaching was in my genes and I love it.  After completing a Master's degree in Secondary Science Education, I have been a K-12 science teacher, district curriculum development specialist, speech and debate coach, science department chair, and teacher professional development trainer.   My classes have always been project-based and incorporate math, history, communication, writing, careers, technology, art, and engineering.  

I met my husband in 2011 and came to the Rogue Valley where I have taught at several area schools, including developing programs at Rogue Community College and teaching STEM courses for high school students.  In 2019, I completed my doctoral degree in Performance Improvement and Leadership.  My focus is on learning how the brain works and learns.  I use this information to create project-based, hands-on learning that incorporates inquiry, creativity, and curiosity.  My goal for this school year is to get to know the students and add to the current outdoor and natural resource work that has been happening at the NRC.   I want to develop a strong science curriculum that will get students up and outside the classroom doing action science with a focus on how to turn their interests into a career that they will be successful with and love doing. PREPARATION: Bachelors from Eastern Washington University, 2001; Masters from Portland State University, 2007; PhD from Capella University, 2019. Oregon Licensed Teacher.