I talk to Patrick Goff, a grade 8 science teacher, who is inspiring his students through web talks with actual scientists.
Picture this: early 80’s, through the late 90’s. There’s a kid who just watched his first documentary on the ocean. It’s about a coral reef. He gets to see all of the beauty and wonder of it. He gets to witness the diversity within the coral reef and all its wonders. That program inspires him to become a marine biologist. That’s what he wants for the rest of his life. Back then there was no internet. So he had to go to library and drown himself in books. But the age-appropriate books that were available weren’t necessarily about marine biology. They were picture books containing amazing images of the ocean with small descriptions. He searched and searched, but only came up with books containing images. He went to school libraries, he bought books, but all images. He became frustrated with trying to find books that had information on more science. Finally, when he got to high school, he started his biology courses, chemistry courses, physics courses. The basics in all three of those foundational science courses. He started taking math courses that laid the groundwork for what he would later learn and use as a marine biologist. However, he still remains frustrated. All of his biology courses are focused on human biology. Though important to learn about human biology, he wants more about the ocean animals he has come to love. He is insatiable. Through his tireless search of libraries, he slowly begins to find more in depth information on the ocean, the species, the habitats. He enters University for Marine Biology. He immerses himself in the life long passion project. By this point it’s the late 90’s. Though the internet is a budding resource, there is yet more information on the ocean that he has searched for his entire life. 15 years after graduating, he starts a podcast. If you haven’t guessed, this story is about me. The reason I started Speak Up For Blue and this podcast, is to further inform people just like you about the ocean, its issues, and triumphs. And to weigh in on the now abundant amount of information available on the web about the ocean. It’s a way for me to tell stories about what people in the industry go through on a daily basis. Their projects. Their “Why.” The podcast is a resource for young people to learn about the ocean, and the ways they can get involved. A resource I wish I had available to me as an emerging scientist. It is all to serve our future Ocean-preneurs and warriors. I wanted to inspire people to live for a better ocean. I wanted to share my passion.
Today’s interview on the podcast is with Patrick Goff. A grade 8 science teacher whose goal is not only to educate his science students, but to inspire them to embrace, enjoy, and explore science. To learn all they can about what science means, what it involves, and the repercussions. He doesn’t do it through textbooks and lectures. He goes beyond the books, the classroom. He reaches out to fellow scientists, who apply the basic science they learned in grade 8, on a daily basis. He shows the students through webinars, web chat, that science is fun. Science is awesome. And the stuff people get to do is just amazing. He’s hosted guests for his class through webinars and webcams. Guests such as Dr. Michelle Larue, scientists from NASA (?!?!?!?), Earthquake Scientists, an amazing and diverse array of professionals to illustrate the varied ways in which science and scientists play a vital role in our existence. All of these professionals discuss topics that are part of the approved curriculum.
The story that Patrick Goff tells in this podcast (and you’ll have to listen!) have truly inspired some of the students to follow their dreams in their careers; be it through science, or technology, or another branch of STEM curriculum. That is his job. But more than that, it is his passion. He puts so much time, effort, and work into creating these opportunities and resources for his students and it’s paying off.
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Links mentioned in this episode:
- Session 211: Studying Penguins via Satellite Imagery with Dr. Michelle LaRue
- Patrick Goff on Twitter
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