Meet and Greet

Posted March 25, 2017 by ilee

Hello Teachers with GUTS,

I'm Irene Lee, the founder of Project GUTS.   I'm looking forward to connecting with you and hearing about how you are using (or planning to use) Project GUTS lessons and materials.  I've recently relocated to Boston and am finally getting settled into my new life here.  As the new kid on the block, I know just how reassuring it is to have people you can call on and turn to when you have a question or need help.

I hope we can be your Project GUTS support network to help you find what you need and/or introduce you to others in our community.  Please introduce yourself and let's get started!




Submitted by sgibbs on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 17:07 · Permalink

Hi, I"m Susan Gibbs.  Working with Project GUTS is my third career (after being a Public Defender, and then a middle school Social Studies teacher) and I love it!  Engaging with teachers and kids to do project-based, discovery learning around computers and science is so much fun.  I live in Santa Fe (I'm a native, which is somewhat unusual) but love to travel to other places.  I would be happy to try to answer any questions people have about Project GUTS and think the Teachers with GUTS network will be a great way for us all to stay connected.  

Submitted by Wendy Richmond on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 19:00 · Permalink

Hi, I am Wendy Richmond.  I am a Middle School Science teacher from Richland, WA.  I was introduced to project based learning and computer sciences as a coach for the First Lego League robotics competitions in 2006.  I was looking for ways to get more students involved in coding and problem based learning projects.   I was thrilled to be asked by my district to participate in a grant to get training for Computer Science in Science through Project Guts and Hour of Code.  I have been excited to see the growth and excitement generated through this program.  I am looking forward to the Teachers with Guts network as a great resource for us all to continue to grow and improve instruction for all students!

Submitted by jlsweeney2001 on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 19:41 · Permalink

Hello, I am John Sweeney.  I teach 8th-grade Physical Science in Memphis.  I have been looking for ways to incorporate coding into my curriculum but have been limited by my own lack of knowledge.  I used The Hour of Code from which was just enough to give the kids a sample.  I also coached for First Lego League but again needed more coding knowledge as did the kids.  When I discovered Project GUTS, I found my answer.  GUTS is so user-friendly and the staff at GUTS is so helpful that I have been able to incorporate two modules (so far) into my curriculum.  I have also presented my work with the program at the NSTA national convention in Las Angeles.  I can't say enough about how much incorporating the techniques of computational thinking have helped my students.  I look forward to learning more from all of the teachers here at Teachers with GUTS. 

Submitted by Michelle Cannon on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 00:54 · Permalink

Hello, I am Michelle Cannon. I teach science and now computer science in Scottsdale, AZ. I was searching for ways to bring coding and computational thinking into my science classroom when my principal recommended that I represent our district and become trained as a facilatator for project GUTS. After doing the online MOOC I was hooked. The program is amazing and I could not wait to see it in action. I have now trained over 20 teachers in our district and moderated our science department of 6 teachers as we implemented 2 modules this year. This is the perfect way to bring computer science into the science classroom, the kids love it and develop computational thinking skills in the process. The program and staff is amazing I am thrilled to be a teacher with GUTS and want to share this amazing opportunity with as many educators as possible.

Submitted by jgurbada on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 11:03 · Permalink


I am an instructional designer with Riverside Unified School District, and a former middle and high school science teacher. I am new to Project GUTS and have completed the online CS in Science: Part 1 class. I will be attending a project GUTS training session this summer to learn more about CS in Science. I am really looking forward to being a facilitator and learning more about this project and all that it has to offer our students!

Submitted by Carlos on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:09 · Permalink


I am Carlos Jeronimo, I teach Science and Math in Santa Fe, NM. Guts can Help students in many ways. I try guide my students. They think and can see how the variables can affect the conclusion. In the future, I will try introduce more mathematics concept with Guts.

Submitted by krisbeck on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 13:36 · Permalink

Hello I'm Kris Beck, 

I'm a K-8 Computer Science teacher, former STEM Lab teacher and former middle school Science Teacher. I live and work in Chicago and am a Chicago Public School teacher. I've been teaching Project GUTS for 3 years now. I've taught the curriculum to a very diverse group of students. This would include English Language Learners and diverse learners. I've also taught GUTS in a condensed summer camp setting. I really enjoy that the program teaches computer science concepts in a context of science. I feel that our classes should be in a more integrated way--you know, like the real world. I look forward to hearing what other teachers do in their classes. 

Su, I am so glad you are with us!  I value your insights as a social studies teacher, CS learner, and GUTS Facilitator.  It's amazing to see how your skills and confidence have grown.

Welcome Wendy from Richland, WA!   Do you have Project GUTS Facilitators who have worked with you in WA?  Do you have any needs for more PD or do you feel ready to implement?


Good luck with your presentation at NSTA!   I've posted a news story about it here:

Check it out and let me know what you think.


Hi Michelle, 

It's great to have you here in the Teachers with GUTS community.  Are there any materials or support that you or your teachers in AZ need?  Are there modules you wish you had?


Submitted by ilee on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 14:05 · Permalink

In reply to by jgurbada

Welcome Jessie Gurbada!  Nice to meet you. You will meet Su ( and Jenn ( this summer - they are facilitating the Riverside PD.

Submitted by ilee on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 14:07 · Permalink

In reply to by Carlos

Hello Carlos,

I'm glad to see you here.  I'd like to introduce you to Cristian Rizzi ( , who offered our Project GUTS MOOC in Spanish!  He has a lot of materials / videos translated already, perhaps he could share them here!


Hello Kris,

Great to see you here!  Could you bring us up to date about what is going on in CPS with Project GUTS?  Are you preparing new teachers this year?


Submitted by comptech on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:03 · Permalink

Hi, I'm Nancy Sedlacko and I am the computer teacher in a small parochial elementary school in central Illinois. I've been teaching (very) basic coding on and off for quite some time, but over the last few years have been trying to create a curriculum that progresses from kindergarten through grade 8. Course 1 in Science is fitting the bill for my 7th graders.... when I can get our outdated computers to cooperate. I'm hoping to remedy that in the near future, but in the meantime, the struggle is very real! 

Hi Michelle, 

Do you teach an independent Code class or are you strictly implementing code into your science classes?


Submitted by Hilary Dito on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 16:40 · Permalink

Hi. I am Hilary Dito, STEAM Coordinator for Contra Costa County Office of Education. CCCOE is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I was trained to facilitate an 8 district consortium for CS in Science. CCCOE is a Regional Partner with We plan to continue to support our CS in Science teachers and develop a CS network over the next few years.

Hi Hilary,

Good to hear from you!  Have you been called upon to offer PD workshops in the 8 districts this year?  Is there anything you need from us?


Submitted by Kerrie Rovito on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 16:50 · Permalink

Hi everyone! I am Kerrie Rovito and I teach 6-8 grade science in Chicago.

I have been using the Project GUTS curriculum for the past three years and have been a facilitator for the past two. I love seeing my students get excited as they figure out a code and how creative they can be using the different programs. 

Submitted by carl on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 17:09 · Permalink

Hello I am Carl Krings. Proud middle school teacher at Ortiz Middle School. I am exited to be with GUTS in all of its forms for lo these ten years or so. I enjoy the challenge of coding myself and the excitement that it gives to kids. 

Submitted by MWestfall on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 22:06 · Permalink


I'm Mindy Westfall, from Everett, WA.  I've been teaching CS in Science for 2 years now and it's one of my favorite things we do in our curriculum.  Module 3 Ecosystems works really well with our Ecosystems/Population Dynamics unit and kids love getting on the computers.  I am also a facilitator and just finished up my first cohort this year (2016-2017).

Hi Kerrie,

Good to see you here and I owe you a shirt!  I hope you are doing well.



You've been a trooper!  With us through thick and thin.  Thank you.


Submitted by ilee on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 08:14 · Permalink

In reply to by MWestfall

Hello Mindy,

I'm glad to hear that Module 3 is working well in your Ecosystems/Population Dynamics unit.   I think it is one of our favorites too.  We are going to be moving our facilitator resources over here too so it would be good to get your input on where to put it so facilitators can find what they need easily.


Submitted by pmeade on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 15:12 · Permalink

      Hello, I am Phyllis Meade, from Virginia.  After being a regular classroom teacher for 20 years, I accepted a new challenge as the  STEM coordinator for our division.  I have enjoyed researching new techniques to get students thinking critically in the classroom.  Some of the areas that I have explored have been coding, robotics, 3D printing, engineering challenges, and science experiments. I am new to GUTS, and I hope to add activities from GUTS to provide PD for our middle school teachers. 

Submitted by dadler85 on Sun, 04/02/2017 - 14:21 · Permalink

Hello! My name is Dan Adler, and I teach 6th grade science in Lawrence, Massachusetts! I am very, very much a newbie when it comes to CS instruction, and I'm looking forward to learning more soon, so I can bring it back to my scholars!

Hello Phyllis,

Welcome!  Please let me know if you need any assistance or materials for your PD workshops.  I bet you have a wealth of knowledge from the classroom to share with your teachers.  Please let use know if you end up adapting our materials or have recommendations.


Welcome, Dan.  It's good to see teachers from MA here!   Please know that we are here to help, we enjoy working with all teachers, newbie or not.


Submitted by codeboy on Fri, 04/14/2017 - 11:01 · Permalink

Hello! I am Steven Boyd and I teach 6-8 grade science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I use the Project GUTS curriculum and I am a GUTS facilitator. I recently was tapped to teach Exploring Computer Science as well. It is a nice departure from straight up science.

It is so rewarding to see the students get so excited when they figure out a problem and how creative they can be to solve these problems. 

Submitted by daviwe on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 13:00 · Permalink

Hello! I'm Wendy Davis from Fontana, California. This is my first year teaching computers and coding. I enjoyed the CS Science course this year with Project GUTS and, though it was a bit above my head and that of my students. I look forward to familiarizing myself with this site and see what I can incorporate into my class!

Submitted by Tamara Dozier on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 13:35 · Permalink

Hello. I'm Tamara Dozier in New Kent, Virginia. I've been teaching physical science for 10 years. The last few years I've been given the advanced science classes and I like the idea of adding coding to their curriculum. I try to challenge these students and coding fits right along with that principle. I know this group of educators can help me achieve my goals.

Submitted by mattdj2002 on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:41 · Permalink

Hi, I'm Matthew Jefferson. I teach 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies in Houston, TX. I have utilized the CS in Science curriculum in an elective coding course this year and plan to continue to expand coding on my campus next year!

Submitted by Katie Kirkham on Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:06 · Permalink

My name is Katie Worthen, and I manage STEM Lab, a drop-in space for K-12 field trip students at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Due the nature of the space, it's been challenging implementing coding, but my pilot has been successful, and I'm looking forward to doing more in the future!

Submitted by jillelynch on Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:34 · Permalink

Hi!  I'm Jill Lynch and I am a middle school technology teacher in Little Silver, NJ, a small one square mile coastal town.  Our middle school has grades 5 through 8, and a population of 378 students. I have been a teacher and with the district for 13 years.  Prior to my becoming a teacher, I worked in the tech industry for a company that develops software for the home health industry.  When I started working for the district 13 years ago, I worked part-time for two years in the K-5 school as an art/computer teacher, then was hired full time when I picked up Gifted and Talented for grades 3 and 4.  I was introduced to the middle school when I picked up the 7th and 8th grade G&T curriculum, going back and forth between the two schools.  Then 7 years ago, I moved into the technology position at the middle school.  I am familiar with project GUTS Module 1 and Module 3.  I have no former training, just what I have been able to learn online and prior knowledge.  Thus far, I have incorporated art into the GUTS curriculum through the Painting Turtles in Module 1 and correlating it to the Jackson Pollock style of painting, and also getting at global and local ecological issues using Module 3 with a culminating project and presentation. I work closely with our science teachers to make sure that I match the computer science curriculum with the grade level and follow the NGSS standards. I am looking forward to sharing and gaining knowledge to enhance your and my current curriculum. My ultimate goal is to introduce Module 1 (Intro) to the 5th graders, Module 2 (Global Warming) to the 6th graders, improve Module 3 (Ecosystems) with the 7th graders, and introducing Module 4 (Chemical Reactions) with the 8th graders.  This makes logical sense in our state and district standards.  Any pointers or sanguine advice would be GREATLY appreciated! 

Hello Jill,

Fantastic to hear about your ability to implement the CS in Science modules without formal PD.  What modifications or additions would you recommend?  Is there any thing you needed but couldn't find online?  (Let's move this conversation over to the "implementation" forum)


Hello Katie,

Can you tell us more about your implementation in the implementation forum (under discussions section -> pedagogy)


Hello Steven Boyd,

Good to see you here.  Have you seen any patterns in the facilitation work you do?  or is there anything that students are struggling with in the GUTS curriculum that we should address?


Hi Matthew Jefferson,

Where does the CS in Science curriculum fit into your elective course?  Is it one of many curricula used in the course?  If so, what is the sequence you use?  Where does GUTS fit?  I'd love to learn more.


Hello Wendy,

Please let me know if you have suggestions on what would help you as a learner and first year teacher.


Submitted by mcclurec on Fri, 05/19/2017 - 13:29 · Permalink

Greetings from Bellevue, WA.  I teach middle school science (and occasionally HS Bio). We are beginning to introduce Project Guts into our middle school curriculum. This school year we piloted module 1 in both 6th and 7th grade. I am hoping to do more this next school year.

Submitted by eso on Sun, 05/21/2017 - 23:28 · Permalink

Hello from Pittsburg, CA. I teach 6th grade science and my district is planning to implement the GUTS curriculum throughout middle school. 6th Grade is aiming to prepare skills, while 7th & 8th apply their use to more focused modeling. I hope to learn more about Computer Science in general and find out the best way to integrate this new field of science into my curriculum.

Submitted by Angie Card on Sat, 05/27/2017 - 22:04 · Permalink

Hi. Angie, here, from tiny Monroe, UT. I taught CS in S to 7th graders this past school year. It was interesting. We spent a fair amount of time in, as they'd not had much background with programming, and SL Nova was a pretty big leap for some. I look forward to getting deeper into CS in S this year, as those 100 7th graders are now my 8th graders :) 

Submitted by Miranda Vieche… on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 14:57 · Permalink

Hi Everyone,

Miranda here from Pittsburg, CA.  I've been working as an instructional coach at the Middle School level for the last 5 years.  I have experience teaching 4th grade at the elementary level, as well as 7th grade Social Science and have a strong background in computers.  I was trained as a CS in Science facilitator with ProjectGuts and  I'm currently supporting my middle school science teachers in implementing the CS in Science curriculum, with the intention of introducing basic skills to our 6th graders, and focusing more on modeling in 7th & 8th.

Submitted by on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 11:51 · Permalink

Hello Everyone,

I'm Sharon from Highlands Ranch, CO (part of south Metro Denver).  Currently, I"m working with our school district to bring computer science curriculum to all of our 67,000 K-12 students so I work with all grade levels.  I implemented ProjectGuts with a high school biology class last year and want to bring this to all of our middle schools in the district.

Submitted by Shaw'sae Dodson on Sat, 06/03/2017 - 10:58 · Permalink


I am Shaw'sae from Pittsburg Ca. I've previously took some training using and slnova but I need to refresh because my district wasn't sure of which grade levels would teach the curriculum. Now that I know I will need to teach I'm revisiting the training to become an expert. 

Submitted by rlewis91 on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:11 · Permalink

Hello from Maine.  I am just getting started with this and will need lots of help and ideas.  The majority of my teaching experience is with High School Math.  Good luck to all. 

Submitted by ilee on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 17:54 · Permalink

Welcome All, glad to see you here!  

We have opened up Module 1 of the MOOC and are here to help if you have any issues, questions, etc.   The preferred way to ask is to post to the forums (that way members may see it and answer it, and subsequent viewers may benefit from reading the posted response(s) as well).

Submitted by andyras on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:02 · Permalink

Howdy, I'm one of the administrators for the Computer Science for All initiative at Chicago Public Schools. I'm not teaching, but I support teachers across our district who are implementing Project GUTS and other K-12 curricula.

My degrees are in theoretical chemistry and physics, so I really understand the importance of simulation in science! I attended the GUTS PD two summers ago and had a total blast (slnova is such a good toy, and at the same time such a good way to introduce techniques scientists really use).

I am curious to hear more perspectives on teaching the GUTS material from those without a science/CS background, and to learn more about the experiences of teachers for whom Project GUTS was an introduction to CS concepts.

Hello Andy,

Glad to see you here!  I welcome you to start the conversation (to hear more perspectives on teaching GUTS without prior science and/or CS background).  Would you create a new forum topic under Pedagogy discussions -> Share your experiences implementing GUTS curriculum?  or let me know if you'd like me to create a new forum folder rather than a topic.