Rogie Legaspi has been a BioEYES teacher for nearly seven years, doing his first program in February, 2010. He has done the program every school year since, ultimately doing both the Intermediate and Advanced versions of "Project BioEYES" as well as "Your Watershed, Your Backyard" and becoming a BioEYES Model Teacher in September, 2012. All this, despite rather notorious bad luck with weather reschedules!
How long have you been a teacher?
This is my 25th year of teaching.
What are one or two previous positions you held?
Current position: 7th Grade Life Science teacher at Hamilton EMS (2013-current)
Previous position: STEM Coordinator at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy (2010-2013)
Previous position: High School Biology teacher at Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy (2008-2010)
Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of St. La Salle (2005-2008) School Principal — Diocese of Victoria, Texas
What made you want to become a teacher?
I've always wanted to be someone involved in science, not necessarily a science teacher. But during my 2nd summer break from medical school, I was offered a job to teach secondary school science in Texas. I accepted it, thinking that it would just be a one- or two-year hiatus from my medical schooling. I just instantly got hooked on teaching science and have been doing it enthusiastically ever since!
How did you find out about BioEYES?
I don't remember exactly how I found out about BioEYES. It must have been from one of the Professional Development opportunities. What I remember clearly is attending the first orientation at the Carnegie Institution for Science, seven years ago. I was so impressed by how well-organized the training was. I was even more impressed when the advantages of the zebrafish as a model organism were explained. I knew that my students would greatly benefit from studying them in the classroom.
What is your favorite part about bringing BioEYES to your classroom?
Every time we have BioEYES in the classroom, I am always excited because I know that the students always love learning genetics with the BioEYES program. Students learn a little bit of everything, including microscopy, measurement, genetics, and growth & development, by gathering, analyzing, and presenting data. I just love that BioEYES is able to hit so much knowledge and skills, which are so crucial in science success. Students who had BioEYES in my class often recount having BioEYES as among the most exciting things they did in science, even several years down the road.
When not teaching, what are some of your hobbies?
Nature photography, which I do while hiking or during stops when I take my family on a scenic drive, is one of my most favorite things to do in my spare time.
When getting away, where do you like to go?
I like visiting National Parks or historic places. Among my favorites are Yellowstone, the Everglades, and Gettysburg.
What is one thing most members of the education community don't know about you?
I wrote the curriculum and helped found the new Baltimore charter school for boys, Banneker Blake STEM Academy.