With great joy and enthusiasm, a Latino Bronx teacher and associate NASA researcher will be featured at the NASA STEM Stars En Español program next week, making it the first time in the talk show’s history to have a NASA guest involved both in science and education.
Inspiring and engaging, Alejandro Mundo positively impacts students, colleagues and the Kingsbridge International High School, a public school in the Bronx, NY. Mundo knows his students can do anything—and he helps them believe it too. Ever since becoming an educator and the head of the science department, he has opened a new world of opportunities in science, technology and engineering for his students, who engage in hands-on learning opportunities in all his classes.
Mundo says, “Learning science concepts should be fascinating, even when they are complex to understand. I facilitate learning to my Earth science students not from lectures, textbooks or memorization, but through manipulatives, discussions and inquiry-based lab experiences that illustrate the concepts.”
Earlier this year he began working as an associate researcher on the Earth Observation Applications for Resiliency research project from the Climate Change Research Initiative at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. His scientific research under Dr. Christian Braneon focuses on environmental sustainability and climate change. He is especially interested in understanding the climate processes that affect urban environments, like the Urban Heat Island phenomenon, using remote sensing like Landsat satellite data from past and present distributions of land surface temperatures.
Alejandro will be featured at the NASA STEM Stars En Español talk-show on Monday, August 10, 2020, at 01:30 p.m. ET and it will be live-streamed on Youtube. This program was created in an attempt to inform unrepresented groups about the diversity that is needed in STEM and feature those who are making the difference in their fields.
“NASA STEM Stars en Español developed from a growing need to promote awareness of NASA’s diverse career opportunities for minority populations and highlight Hispanic professionals as role models in STEM careers. It was only appropriate to do it Spanish,” says the education specialist for the NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative, Dr. Samuel Garcia, Jr.
“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity as it is an occasion,where I will share more about my experiences, NASA research, and inspire Spanish-speaking minorities around the world to consider STEM careers and continue on their education,” says Alejandro.
Mundo is known for raising minority young scientists and encouraging them to pursue STEM careers. His constant approach on informal learning including science institutions and trips to the American Museum of Natural History, allows his students to investigate science in practical ways. He has taken the lead on students’ involvement in community leadership; his focus on schoolwide diversity in science careers led to the creation of his science club, where students not only do science in fun ways inside the classroom, but go out to plant trees, clean parks, attend science community engagement events in order to demonstrate leadership and citizenship responsibility for a better world.
In 2019 he was involved in a National Science Foundation grant that focused on early evolution of animals through the study of the trilobite fossil record in New York where he did paleontology fieldwork and facilitated the integration of these experiences both at the American Museum of Natural History and his students. He has done geologic research in Riverside Park in Manhattan to analyze the pressure-temperature at peak metamorphism and determine the mineralogical composition using the Raman spectroscopy geothermobarometer to study the metamorphism of Manhattan.
Mundo arrived to the United States when he was 12 years old; facing the barriers of a new language, customs and culture, he used those obstacles to overcome his fears and achieve the American Dream. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geophysics and a minor in science, technology and society from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2015, and a master’s in teaching earth sciences from the Gilder Graduate School from the American Museum of Natural History in 2017. His professional goal is to build strong relationships with other educators, do meaningful discoveries through scientific research and inspire future generations of minority students to get a STEM career.
Monday, August 10, 2020, at 01:30 p.m. ET on YouTube NASA STEM Stars channel below.
Dr. Samuel Garcia