Shelly Hynes

National Science Foundation
Arctic and Antarctic Sciences Division, Office of Polar Programs

Louisiana, High School Science

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2011-12 Poster

Shelly F. Hynes has taught astronomy and physics at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) in Natchitoches, Louisiana for the past 10 years. She received her B.S. in Physics with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and her M.S. in Applied Physics with a minor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. During her summers, Ms. Hynes adjunct teaches Physics Laboratory or Physical Science courses at Northwestern State University and the ADVANCE program for Young Scholars.

Hynes sponsors the regional, state and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair competitions at LSMSA, prepares students for the Siemens Competition and Intel Science Talent Search and mentors student research projects. To support her research mentorships, Hynes has participated in research experiences for teachers programs at the National Science Foundation, Baylor University, and the National Radio Astronomy Laboratory. In 2006, the asteroid 1998 HC96 was renamed 22586 Shellyhynes in honor of Ms. Hynes’ work with a student who was named an Intel Science Talent Search Finalist.

Hynes developed the astronomy program at LSMSA which includes the courses Introduction to Astronomy, Observational Astronomy and Astrophotography, and Astrobiology and is supported by the LSU-LSMSA Observatory managed by Hynes. In 2007, Hynes became a Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA) through the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). Using her PTRA experiences, Hynes served as the Site and Professional Development coordinator for a Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program grant through Northwestern State University in 2010, which focused on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory located in Livingston, Louisiana. Hynes is an active member of AAPT as Louisiana Section Representative from 2007-09 and Treasurer of the Louisiana Section from 2009-present. She is also a founding member of the Mars Society and an American Astronomical Society Education Affiliate.

Shelly believes there are two keys to effectively educating gifted science students – educators who are practicing scientists and nurturing students’ scientific curiosity as early as possible by providing them with individual research mentorships. “Science students need mentors and their educators are their first exposure to scientists. So their educators must continue to be practicing scientists as well as science educators. Science educators must consider themselves biologists, chemists, and physicists. This eliminates some of the fear of scientists and shows students that scientists have many different roles and career paths.”

Shelly Hynes is serving her fellowship at the National Science Foundation, Arctic and Antarctic Sciences Division, Office of Polar Programs.