Nicholas Senn High School
As a first-generation Mexican American from Chicago, Irving Hernandez understands the power of education on an individual, family and ultimately community. Growing up in an underserved Chicago neighborhood and attending Chicago Public Schools, Irving recognized his love for science, which was harnessed by strong educational mentors who encouraged him to attend college. It was at Monmouth College where he quickly learned about the inequities in his academic experience compared to his peers. With hardwork, passion and -most importantly- belief and support from professors, Irving earned his Bachelors of Science in Physics and Masters degree in Science Education. Throughout his educational experiences, and the people with whom he interacted, his calling to be a science educator was confirmed. He is proud to be serving students as a physics teacher in Chicago where he continues to show the importance of mentorship while empowering students to use their curiosity for scientific investigation. Irving is inspired to be a part of the BEST Summer Research Program at UIC where he will use current research to develop innovative quality physics curriculum. Under Dr. Royston, lead researcher in the field of Biomedical Engineering with the focus of Acoustics and Vibrations, Irving aims to bring this research into his classroom for students to understand the applicability of physics in the medical field and explore the careers within it. Irving is entering his second year at Nicholas Senn High School.