aboutus

The QC Team is made up of people who are passionate about education.

Michael Finnegan

In my first year teaching middle school science, I was confronted with the irony that many of my students had as much potential as my fellow doctoral engineering students at U.C. Berkeley, but faced barriers that would likely hinder them from joining these privileged ranks. 

 

The system which permits these unjust ironies is resistant to change. But there are some incredibly effective solutions, which quickly spring from a recognition that the academic experience for most kids is, well, kind of boring. Their days are filled with worksheets, lectures, and digital adaptive software, with zero relation to their lives and no opportunities to pursue interesting topics. 

 

We set out to change this, starting with math and science. 

 

We studied how the greatest scientists and mathematicians in history arrived at the most profound intellectual breakthroughs. Invariably, these pursuits were driven by a simple curiosity and a fascination for our amazing universe, as well as a desire to explain the unexplained. 

 

Knowing that all kids possess this same, unfettered curiosity, we created ways to connect students to these same journeys and this approach now guides QuantumCamp’s curriculum and teaching. Our labs and activities follow the historical development of interesting topics in science and math. We distill discoveries into a series of smaller steps so students can uncover, on their own, amazing ideas. They are the then, the new owners of these ideas and can freely, confidently go forth and build new knowledge, anywhere they choose!

CEO

Steve Berg

As a child, I appreciated school and had fun, but I could have done better and achieved more. Before becoming a parent, I had an interest in giving back to the community and got much personal enjoyment from volunteering with Junior Achievement (in Washington DC) and Big Brothers Big Sisters (in Denver). Once I became a parent, my love for seeing children learn - my own as well as others - really took off, and I also became more aware of shortcomings with traditional education. My involvement with QuantumCamp stems from wanting to continue to make a difference in kids’ lives by providing math and science curriculum that gives them the confidence and ability to reach for the stars and work hard to improve the world as they grow up.

 

I am honored to be part of an amazing team that includes so many fun, talented, caring, and intelligent teachers and curriculum designers. They give me hope for the future and make me wish that QuantumCamp was around when I was a kid!

Cofounder and Advisor

Sarah Kwon

I wholeheartedly believe that if you are thinking, you are doing math. Math is the art of symbolic logic, at the end of the day!

 

That’s why I believe that EVERYONE is good at math, even if they don’t know it yet!

 

I want students to feel comfortable with challenges, and I encourage them to make guesses, even if they think they might be wrong. Most of the time, they surprise themselves with how powerful a solving tool their minds are!

 

The wonderful thing about math is that there is no single correct way to solve a problem. In fact, there are an infinite number of ways we can solve a single problem!

 

My goal is to help each and every student find the solution that makes sense to them.

Math Instructor and Curriculum Developer

Mahathee Chetlapalli

Spend time with any baby and you’ll be met with an undeniable brightness. Letting that light grow is the delight in the work of an educator, perhaps more personally than for anyone else who might know the kid, because of the intention of how we spend our time together. We are there to discover, guide, and expand a kid’s knowledge and skills, making adjustments at a safe distance, so as not to slow or stifle the kid’s brightness, same as one guards and tends a small flame. 

 

For me, I’ve been blessed by the presence of several amazing educators, some who’ve known me and watched and shaped my development across several years. Somewhere that value spoke with my soul, and I began approaching this work more and more nearly. 

 

Remember your favorite educator and you’ll agree that who they were was aligned deeply with their being. And you’ll likely remember how well they listened to you, maybe more attentively than anyone else, and you felt really known, seen, and wanted. And if this educator was actually your own soul, you’ll understand why it’s so important to keep that alive in a kid. 

 

You likely have the skills to find out who I am, and what my background is, but I am more interested in finding out who your kid is, and helping them to grow. It is my honor and delight to do this work. ;) 

Science Instructor and Curriculum Developer

Ronan Beltracchi

Around seventh grade, I decided I wanted to be the next Bill Nye when I grew up.  At that age, I was already becoming an educator, tutoring elementary students in reading as part of a community service project.  I had also become interested in theatre, but I loved science too much to consider becoming a professional actor.  Delivering scientific content through a lighthearted narrative seemed like a perfect blend of science, education, and performance.  

 

The importance of science communication only became clearer to me throughout college and graduate school.  As an Earth Systems Science major at Stanford University, I learned the interconnectedness of humanity, our planet, and the rest of the organisms we share it with.  Field experiences from snorkeling in Monterey Bay to climbing the Kilauea caldera made me keenly feel humanity’s potential to impact our world, and our world’s impacts on us.  But because we all share this world, we all need a solid knowledge base about the Earth System in order to make informed decisions about our place in it.  I continued along this knowledge path as I worked on a Master’s degree in Paleontology from San Jose State University, hoping that a clearer understanding of Earth’s past mass extinction events could give some insight into conservation today.

 

I’ve been an educator throughout my academic journey, starting as a tutor, then a camp counselor, then a field trip program guide and museum docent, a TA, and finally a QuantumCamp instructor.  I firmly believe that everything in the natural world is wondrous if you look closely at it.  I’m excited to show students where to look, and see what they can discover.

Science Instructor and Curriculum Developer

As a business student in college, I worked as a math tutor for elementary and middle school kids. This is when I realized I loved to watch kids learn and make connections. It is exciting to see them light up when they learn how to master a new math concept. 

 

After I earned my degree in Business Administration, I began working in marketing. When I came in contact with QuantumCamp it made sense to join the team! I love working behind the scenes of the amazing instructors knowing that kids are learning in an exciting way. 

Aly Gines

Administration and Marketing Coordinator

Jessica Sierra

I started peer-tutoring in high school and continued to tutor through college. My favorite subject to tutor was math. I noticed that students really needed that hands-on learning and started implementing it in my tutoring sessions. It was exciting to help students who were previously struggling with math excel and become “good at math”. The best part about working for QC is watching our amazing instructors help students succeed through hands-on project-based learning. I strongly admire QC’s innovative curriculum because it uses advanced scientific equipment for elementary and middle schoolers that I did not see until I took a Chemistry Lab course at UC Berkeley. 

Supply and Logistics Coordinator

Under the commonplace of everyday, the world still seethes with enough mystery and wonder to excite me with something new every week (thanks educational youtube!). And there’s no greater joy than sharing that wonder with kids!

 

Growing up, I explored science as a way to ground my world in something ‘real’. I filled myself with facts and phenomena and built a personna around being a ‘true scientist’ (I was that kid who made flashcards to memorize the periodic table in 6th grade… nerd). And because adolescence is like that, I boxed myself out of everything I thought wasn’t science. 

 

QuantumCamp’s Periodic Table course was my first experience that told me that science isn’t a single reality. It’s a living history that evolves - and when we participate in science we are contributing to the life and spirit of science (that too often crumbles into a dogmatism of its own).

 

Today my passion lies in how we can use the fruits of science to create and connect. The world needs creative people willing to communicate honestly, question why, and who believe they can change the world. Which sounds a lot like… Kids! 

 

Kids today are my colleagues tomorrow and I’m honored to have a chance to work with them as they’re first charting out how they’ll change the world. To show them they can be a scientist and an artist and a humanitarian and anything that gives them inspiration.

Joseph Martin

Science Instructor and Curriculum Developer