Carlos: one of our coolest instructors

By Philip Ballew
October 24, 2018

Have you met Carlos? Carlos has been with ThoughtSTEM for several years now and is one of our lead instructors. One of my favorite things about Carlos is his approachability. You can come to him with anything. He is the type of person who sees a problem, figures out a solution, and helps you solve it. This translates well to his work here at ThoughtSTEM. Added to the fact that he is an all around great guy, you end up with someone who we love having on the ThoughtSTEM team!

What is your role here at ThoughtSTEM?

Currently, I am an instructor. However, I have been here four years with different roles throughout. I started as a curriculum developer, both creating course material for classes, as well as working with teachers on site helping them understand their role as instructors. Now I help lead many of our after school classes, and I help teach new instructors along the way.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I live in Clairemont and go to Mesa College. I am majoring in Psychology. I have always considered myself someone who is relaxed, easy going, and friendly. I am a people person. That is one of my greatest skills – if not my greatest. It is what helps me achieve my goals.

I am a people person. That is one of my greatest skills. If not my greatest, it is what helps me achieve my goals.

What initially got you involved with STEM education?
My grandmother was actually a teacher. This was my initial exposure to STEM education.I got involved with ThoughtSTEM back in 2013 when I was helping Stephen and his PhD advisors on an academic study. The study showed results of teaching students Java through a 3D immersive video game environment called Codespells. (CodeSpells.org)

I have always thrived in a school environment, and when the chance to work at ThoughtSTEM appeared, I knew this would be something I would love!

How has ThoughtSTEM changed since you started working here?
I was actually one of ThoughtSTEM’s first employees, so I have seen ThoughtSTEM grow. When I started working here four years ago, we were a lot smaller. At that time, we only taught 1-2 after-school coding classes and we only had the Weekend Workshops at UCSD. I love seeing us grow because it means people in our community are benefiting from our coding classes.

I love seeing us grow because it means people in our community are benefiting from our coding classes.

What do you most enjoy about working at ThoughtSTEM?
The people. That’s both the kids who I get to teach, and the people I get to work with. At the end of the day, I am a people person.

When you’re not working at ThoughtSTEM, what do you do for fun?
Skateboard! They just opened up a new skateboard park near my house in Linda Vista, and I go there any chance I get! It’s a real stress reliever and way for me to get away from my other responsibilities. I go to school close by and I can go there between class.