[MUSIC PLAYING] MELYSSA FERRO: My name's Melyssa Ferro, and I am a science teacher for Syringa Middle School in the Caldwell School District. Education is so important to everything we do in today's society. I feel like the way we teach science traditionally is that we let kids look through a window. We let them watch other people do science.
What I want to do is help my students start looking into a mirror. I want them to see themselves being scientists and engineers, and I want them to see people who look like them being scientists and engineers.
MATTHEW CATALINE: When we're in Miss Ferro's classroom, it's definitely a lot more fun. And we even did an activity creating our own comet. We actually were able to use dry ice.
MELYSSA FERRO: Success for me is when my students start seeing doors open in front of them.
SHAY SWAN: She wants her kids to experience science in real life, not just out of a textbook. Just being next to her, not only myself but our science teachers, they're driven to keep up with her.
MELYSSA FERRO: One of the things I think I really gained coming out of my master's program with Walden was a sense of confidence in myself as an educator. I was more confident in my ability to be a leader in my building and even a leader in my district when it came to science and middle school education.
Being able to work with the Walden program made me more aware of who I am as a teacher and also more aware of how I interact with my students. My why for continuing to do what I do is that I get to add that one little extra connection with the student and watch that kid come alive.