Travis Fuchs

Supporting socially responsible science education in K-12 classrooms
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

As a Canadian Armed Forces member, I have had unique opportunities to experience the positive impacts of Canada’s commitment to diversity, equality, and justice. However, as a student and teacher, I did not always see these same commitments present in my science education experiences. Canada’s citizens deserve science education that mirrors the nation’s highest values. As such, I chose to pursue a graduate degree to make that happen. I want to support Canadian science teachers who want to do more with science education, to tackle real, messy problems in their classrooms, to push the disciplinary boundaries of the science subjects they teach, and use their classrooms as a medium to make the world a better place.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Being born in Alberta, growing up in Ontario, and spending a lot of time in Nova Scotia with my extended family, I consider myself a Canadian through and through. UBC provides the ideal setting for my continued Canadian exploration and world-class researchers that support, push, and extend my interests.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC is known to be one of the top in the world. I appreciate being surrounded by researchers at the leading edge of educational theory and practice.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The rich arts scene around Vancouver. Singing with Chor Leoni Men's Choir has been amazing.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

Getting out and working with schools and teachers; seeing the merger of theory and practice.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

Balance: there will always be something else to read, write, or study.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

By connecting me with researchers that have similar challenges. The mentorship is invaluable.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Working as a science teacher for five years has shown me the realities of school life. I believe my research must always be able to speak to practicing teachers.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Singing in choirs, looking up new recipes for dinner, hitting the gym, and scuba diving.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Talk to as many people as possible, take at least one course that just interests you, and remember that without your research and story we would all be worse off.


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