michael finnegan, PH.D.

Founder & Executive Director
Science

Uncovering the story behind ideas has always driven my own love of learning. So much of knowledge, in mathematics and science, was arrived at through uncharted paths with dramatic twists and setbacks. And it has always been governed by peculiarities of the particular historical time period and the thinkers and doers involved. 

But through my own study of these historical journeys, like the invention of calculus or the birth of the quantum physics revolution, I have found there are really easy ways of allowing students to connect to these wonderful human endeavors. In short, as the curriculum writer, you want to arrange labs and activities, which follow the historical journey of an idea. 

This is where QuantumCamp comes in! As the Founder and Executive Director, I work with an amazing team of educators who provide the space, equipment, and instructional guidance for students to do just this - to discover on their own, the greatest ideas in math and science. 

Before QC, I earned a Ph.D in materials science, worked as an engineer for a solar cell manufacturer, and taught in both public and independent schools. And now, at QuantumCamp, I am loving leading our team in building and teaching wonderful classes for students all over the world. 


stephanie norman, ph.d.

Curriculum Design and Instruction
Math and science

Stephanie hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, and moved to southern California for college, where she majored in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College.  After working in the aerospace industry for a couple of years, she decided to pursue her interest in medical research and moved north, where she received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis.  

While researching, tutoring, and lecturing, she soon realized that she loves to teach, especially in small group settings where she can connect with students at a deeper level.  Stephanie was a science instructor with QC for two summers, before she joined the full time team.  

She brings a love of science and engineering, as well as athletics, cooking, and play to her philosophy of teaching mathematics applications so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of math beyond the numbers.


SHREYA PADMANABHAN

Curriculum Design and Instruction
Director of Student Operations
Math and science

Shreya was born in Palo Alto and has since lived in St. Louis, Singapore and Boston, before moving back to the Bay Area to launch her career. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education, as well as state licensure to teach elementary education.

During her time at Mount Holyoke, she focused on alternate education methods, gaining professional experience teaching and developing curriculum in Singapore, India and locally. Through her teaching experiences, she realized that she has a passion for teaching math, and is excited to have a spot on the QC team that allows her to apply her skills while continuing to develop that passion. She’s thrilled to be a part of the QC community and to be able to get students excited about math!


Andy Caskanette

Curriculum Design and Technical Support
Math

Andy hails from Ontario, Canada with stops in Alberta, New Brunswick and Germany. Recently, he moved to California and joined the QuantumCamp team as a Math Curriculum Developer. Andy graduated with a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo in his first post-secondary excursion and later returned to obtain a diploma in Game Programming from Humber College.

Andy loves math and computing and is using those passions to develop our L3, L4  and High School curriculum. His past experience in web development and technical support has allowed him to step into a tech support role as well. Andy's passions include games of all kinds including their design and theory, pop culture, hiking and spending time with his wife and furry family.


Ruth woodruff

Director of Business Operations

Ruth’s role at QC is to ensure smooth organizational functioning from executive decisions to runny noses, and quite literally everything in between. With a background in higher education administration and organizational leadership, she understands the complexities of a specialized academic organization. She spent eight years running her own portrait photography business, while raising her three young boys, where she refined her customer service skills.


Sharon beltracchi

Science

Sharon grew up in Colorado Springs and moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she majored in Earth Systems.  She participated in multiple field research programs at Stanford, from installing seismic sensors in Nevada with the Crustal Geophysics Lab, to measuring rainforest growth in Hawai'i to observing kelp forest ecology at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey. 

Sharon is an experienced K-12 science teacher, having worked at several Bay Area museums, mostly recently Aquarium of the Bay, and is excited to join the QuantumCamp team.  When she's not teaching science, Sharon enjoys working both onstage and backstage with local community theater groups.


Leo Lin

Science

Leo is inspired by the mechanics of movement, and life. He is a biology underdog by day and a gastronomist by night. 

He earned his Masters in Urban Education and California Credential through the University of Southern California. Prior to entering education he was an Alzheimer's researcher and molecular neurobiologist while he completed his biology degree at UC Berkeley. He believes there is nothing too little or too big for pursuit by the human imagination. 

Shortly after graduation, inspired by his native language and heritage, he left for Taiwan where the spent eight years as a teacher, coordinator, and curriculum developer at several international schools. Most notably, he loves technology and has worked extensively in schools to develop cloud-based educational platforms such as Google Educator. He joins QuantumCamp as a science instructor and our curriculum team leader. 

If he is not in the laboratory, he is probably road biking through the city


Cyrus Brown

Science

Cyrus was born and raised in Seattle, WA. After high school, he moved to Southern California to attend the University of Redlands, where he majored in Environmental Studies. He found a passion for working with kids as a childcare counselor, a naturalist for both adults and youth, and as baseball coach.

For the past two years, before he joined QuantumCamps, Cyrus taught science to middle school youth at an outdoor science school. This experience inspired Cyrus to pursue a career in science education. In his spare time, he loves being outside, “thru” hiking, snowboarding, practicing yoga, and recreational rock climbing.


MelissA Avignon-Redford

Math

Melissa has been an educator for the past 14 years. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she graduated from Mills College with a teaching credential and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. She was a math and science classroom teacher for five years and a garden enhanced nutrition and STEM education teacher for two years. During her time as a classroom teacher, she was also a mentor teacher for Techbridge, a program that empowers girls in STEM. Melissa has been writing curriculum for the past seven years, primarily for Alameda County Office of Education, with focus on interdisciplinary nutrition and health education. She is passionate about creating and teaching engaging curriculum that encourages children to become lifelong learners.