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Lania Rosengren (Teacher Finalist)

Melbourn, Florida
Florida Air Academy
What is your favorite subject in school?: 
My favorite experiments and lessons are ones where students' reactions are priceless! I love watching their faces and expressions when I can WOW them. I try to entertain as well when I perform science lessons. If I can grasp their attention WOWing them, I know it's a good one! One of my favorites is the potato candle. I intro this as an observation lesson for the scientific method. I tell the students to write as many observations as they can while watching "the candle" burn. I say, "Now the highest number is 30, so try to come up with more than 30!" After discussing their observations, I say, "those were really great observations, but did you observe this�and I take a bite out of the raw potato (an almond slice as the wick). They freak out!! "Oh my gosh you just ate a candle!" It is great! Then I explain how they have to use all their senses. Of course, they should not eat anything, but they usually do not get close to the candle to touch (see if it is wax), or waft, etc. After that, they are REALLY good at using their senses during labs!
What kind of extra-curricular activities or hobbies do you enjoy participating in?: 
I enjoy teaching hip hop at a gym, running (I've ran 2 marathons), acting (my mom owns a talent agency in Chicago), so I have grown up doing shows, commercials, movies, etc.
What career do you want to pursue and why?: 
I absolutely love learning about science! One of my favorite television shows has to be The Big Bang Theory. I laugh so hard and perhaps it's because I can relate to the characters, but I really do learn from things that are presented in such an entertaining way and I think science has always been presented to me with entertainment. My science teachers were like magicians and always kept me wondering. I even made my high school physics teacher miss a State level football game because I wanted to stay back in class to learn something new from him. He kept things so interesting and fun, I didn't want to miss anything! I look back now and feel bad, but it was only because I loved the class so much! Sorry Mr. Dietz!
What do you enjoy most about science?: 
I really admired the teachers that I have had because I knew it was a challenging career. Observing them on a daily basis and learning from them really made me want to teach. Some teachers would even let me teach something to the class and I loved it! Then after high school, I was chosen as a Golden Apple Scholar where I learned from Golden Apple Award winning teachers. It made my decision to be an educator even more exciting. I wanted to share my love of learning with others in the hopes that I could help them enjoy learning as well.

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