ORLANDO, Fla. – This month, News 6 is celebrating our local educators and we’ve interviewed teachers across Central Florida, asking them “Why do you teach?”
For Lake Nona High School astronomy teacher Danielle Miller, she said she always knew she would someday be a teacher.
“I teach because I love learning and I think that if I can help students find that same love of learning things, they’re going to be much better humans in the long run,” she said. “I love space and love learning about space so being able to help others find that love as well and figure out the universe is really why I teach.”
Miller said this is the first year Lake Nona High is offering an astronomy class. Our proximity to the Space Coast means no shortage of class topics.
“It’s perfect for astronomy because I get to just walk the kids outside and watch rockets launch all the time,” she said. “I change what I teach every year because astronomy changes so often that I have to change to keep up with it, which is why teaching astronomy is so fun,” she said. “This year we’ll be talking about the new Webb telescope and all the images coming that one.”
Miller’s students won’t just be learning about theory. They’ll actually have the opportunity to analyze data Miller collected as a researcher for UCF’s Center for Microgravity Research.
“But I’ve been working on research with UCF and the properties of lunar soil simulants because we really don’t know what things are going to start happening on the moon when we bring new science and technology there,” she said. “So my project was able to investigate the properties of soil simulants as far as conductivity, electricity, thermal properties and drilling, and pressure properties as well.”
And while Miller has been in the classroom for 17 years, she said the learning goes both ways.
“I think that teaching should really be learning with the students because if we want them to love learning we have to show them we love it too. I try new things every year and I do it right alongside them because learning together is more powerful than learning on their own,” Miller said.
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