Our Staff

Thomas Champion's picture
DNA Discovery Center Intern
Year Started: 

Good Day To Everyone

In short order- I am an experienced science teacher at Naperville North High School (Naperville, IL) and I am an active supporter of inquiry based science.  I have been teaching for 15 years and for each of those years I have endeavored to learn as much from our students as I hopefully have taught them.  I believe in the Eternal Verities as described by a master teacher (and friend of mine) James Effinger- One of the most compelling of these --  'Questions Are Often More Important Than Answers.' 

After engaging experiences these last summers working with Dr. Shannon Hackett; Researchers Brian Wray & Erica Zahnle; Dr. Kevin Feldheim and the Education Dept. I realized that I had to do whatever I could to spend more time at The Field Museum  -- Luckily I was considered and accepted to begin work with the DNA Residency Program at the Pritzker Laboratory located within The Field Museum- YEA!!  Anyhoo- Not only do I get to experience the incredible opportunity of authentic research but I get to bring back so much of what I learn to the students and faculty at my high-school.  And to that end I will answer the question that most people ask me-  An answer that was inspired by a wonderful teacher who inspired me in my first years of teaching (and continues to do so today)- 

The experience here is augmented by the people I work with and each year brings a new round of people and experiences.  This year there are four high-school students working with our groups delving into the genetics of Sawfish and Flycatchers (birds).  We are being led by Tufts Biological Undergraduate Research Candidate/Student Kit McDonnell.  Our goals include: providing & interpreting data for ongoing projects; developing and enhancing lab experiences for use in a high-school setting; and sharing our experiences with everyone out there who is interested.  You can stop by The Field and see us all at work as part of an interactive exhibit !  Just don't ask too many questions about Bigfoot!

So when people ask- 'What do you teach?'

My answer always is- 'I teach students.'