K-8 STEAM Coordinator, Fifth Grade Science, Sixth Grade Technology, & Seventh Grade Health Teacher
Cris Mytko has a B.S. in the teaching of biology from the University of Illinois, an M.S. in advanced education from Northwestern University, and (soon) a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley (May 2022). Prior to COVID-19, she was a frequent presenter at edtech conferences, science festivals, and maker faires. Cris’s proudest (and tongue-in-cheek) accomplishment is twice winning the Exploratorium’s Iron Science Teacher competition. She spent two summers working with scientists at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop their science outreach program: 3D scanning, printing, and data visualization. This led to an invitation to the White House Maker Faire in 2014. Cris and her students are publishing a children’s book based on this work (Ev’s Synchrotron Adventure: An Electron’s Story). Concurrent with her time at BPC, Cris worked as a curriculum developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Learning Design Group creating NGSS-aligned engineering curriculum, and as a project coordinator for the CDC Foundation developing public health curriculum for STEM teachers based on COVID-19, after twice being selected to be a CDC Science Ambassador. Cris heads up BPC’s Maker Club, Improv Club, Yearbook, and co-leads the Robotics team. She has a special affinity for fish mummies, 3D printers, bicycles, virtual reality, chickens, and teaching adult and family improv classes. She joined the Black Pine Circle School faculty in 2007.
Why I Work with Children
I enjoy teaching middle school, specifically, as we support students in developing from children into their more independent, young adult selves. Kids provide a constant stream of inspiration towards innovation, as their reaction to any idea is, “We could totally do that!”
A Favorite Book
Creative Confidence by IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner. It explores ways to unleash the creativity that lies within every one of us–I find it very inspiring!