Carol Hsih, Seventh & Eighth-Grade Science Teacher, Eighth-Grade Advisor
Carol Hsih grew up in the Bay Area, and has fond middle school memories of learning about rockets and lasers. “Biology is actually what really drew me in. What I love about science is that it’s a way of trying to make sense of the world.”
In college she studied molecular and cell biology, but in more recent years she has been drawn to understanding and studying systems. With 18 years of teaching experience that included Chinese American International School and The Nueva School, she’s excited to be at Burke’s. “Teaching science is the best. I love those ‘aha’ moments when kids say things like, ‘Oh I used to think rocks were just rocks.’”
“I chose Burke’s because I’m particularly interested in teaching science to girls in middle school. I think it’s such an important age for girls to continue to think they are scientists, that science is for them. I think things are moving in a positive direction in our society, but there still aren’t a lot of visible female figures in science.”
Carol sees many different entry points to sparking students’ interest in science, from engaging their natural curiosity, to offering hands-on experience through experiments, and even art. She remembers making scientific diagrams in sixth grade and enjoying the drawing aspect. Of course, the hands-on experiments are always exciting and one of her favorite experiments for students is separating water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.
Although she loves to see students being inspired to become scientists, Carol strongly believes in instilling scientific literacy in every student. “I teach students to be critical thinkers so they can understand what’s going on in the world. I want our students to be able to read the news and understand if a study cited in an article was designed well, or if they should be skeptical of the results and ask further questions.”
In her free time, Carol likes to spend time with her two dogs, Lucy and Cera (a rather naughty Beagle). She also volunteers with Muttville, a senior dog rescue. She’s currently reading The Code Breaker, about Jennifer Doudna, who helped discover CRISPR technology.
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.