Sneha Tharayil
Sneha Tharayil
PhD student, University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
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  • Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin, shared an update
    PostedSunday, April 17, 2016 at 7:21 PM
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Biography
The footnote/bullet point version: -Born in India; Raised in Ontario, Canada, and Los Angeles, California -Had a passion for education and teaching since the age of 4. -Received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a Science Concentration, Single and Multiple Subject California Teaching Credentials, and a Master's of Arts degree in Education-Curriculum & Instruction -During my undergraduate studies, acquired a keen interest and fascination with astronomy...which ultimately propelled me into some pretty exciting opportunities with NASA -Was a 3x participant and a 1x teacher-mentor in the NASA Spaceward Bound Mojave program, where I had the opportunity to conduct first-hand field Astrobiology research on extremophiles alongside highly esteemed NASA scientists, and which served as a catalytic force in helping me discover a passion for Engineering (and STEM) education -Was a STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) intern with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group in 2012 -Was a substitute teacher for 3 California public school districts from 2009-2012 -From 2012-2014, in what was perhaps one of the most profound, and impactful experiences in my professional career thus far, I taught full time at a private, Catholic school in the San Fernando Valley, CA, teaching 6th-8th grade science, writing and math. -The combined experiences of my partnerships/internships with NASA and my teaching experiences were so meaningful that they eventually motivated me to pursue a PhD in STEM Education with the University of Texas at Austin, starting August 2015. Interests: -Curriculum development for K-12 engineering education (particularly for middle school) -Teacher professional development in engineering education -Interdisciplinary engineering education in the formal school setting -Informal engineering education models/resources -Social Justice engineering education -Faith integration with engineering education
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Latest Resources
  • PostedApril 21, 2015

    UpdatedSeptember 27, 2017

    Posted bySneha Tharayil

    I had developed this project for my 8th grade students during our "Motion and Forces" physical science unit in order to give them an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of friction in a project-based type assessment. At the time, the school at which I was teaching had not yet adopted NGSS as it was just beginning to be rolled out at the time. Hence, this project is primarily aligned with the old version of the California State Science Standards.
    However, I believe this project has potential to be further developed into a truly meaningful design-based project. Hence, I am relying and would therefore LOVE any ideas/feedback from the LinkEngineering community to help me improve this lesson/project. In particular, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions anyone may have as to what a fair-test could be for students to use to test out their designs and collect data.

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Latest Comments
  • Comment
    Posted Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:28 PM
    When I was a teacher in LA, I definitely used some of JPL's science and engineering lessons! They're wonderful! I remember my students particularly enjoyed this one lesson, I think it was called "Speed Racers" where they designed cars out of styrofoam meat trays and explored how different designs affected the motion of the cars. This was about 3 years ago, so I can only imagine the wealth of ...
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  • Comment
    Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 3:07 PM
    Dr. Strobel, I apologize my response is several months late (I've had a very busy summer!). Thank you so much for your answer. I think you bring up some interesting points about how we conceive what empathy is and what that might look like in engineering design. I particularly like the idea of involving the end-user in the design process. I am interested to see how incorporating that idea would ...
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  • Comment
    Comment by Sneha Tharayil
    Hi Greg! I'm so looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the LE team and hearing your talks at the ASEE annual conference in Columbus, OH this weekend! I'll also be presenting at the conference--I'll be talking about a theoretical framework for integrating service-learning as a pedagogy for pre-college Engineering Education. Here are the details, for those ...
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