Mrs. Jennifer Peterson
Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Last year Valley Lutheran was looking to expand STEM offerings and that’s when Jennifer Peterson joined the staff. She taught Engineering and this year she has added AP Computer Science A and Intro to Computer Science to her schedule.
Mrs. Peterson enjoys witnessing the “ah-ha” moments students experience when they understand something they didn’t understand before. She explains how she encourages this to happen: “I’m passionate about science and engineering and enjoy sharing that with the students. A teaching method I incorporate is experiential learning, or 'learning by doing.' My classes include as much lab activity as they do lecture time, and I think that often students learn best by trying stuff. In engineering class, students get the opportunity to work in small groups, which can give them the confidence to explore in ways they otherwise might not have the courage to. They also get to work through overcoming the frustrations and communication challenges that come with working closely with others and develop presentation and public speaking skills when presenting their results.”
Her professional training includes degrees from the University of California, Davis, B.S.M.E. and the University of Texas at Austin, M.S.M.E. Prior to teaching, she spent most of her career as a professional engineer. Later she transitioned into technical writing, developing interactive online science lab experiences for grades 6-12 for one of the “big 3” textbook publishing houses under the next generation science standards (NGSS). She says that this experience led to a part time job at Grand Canyon University teaching Physics labs, and she continues to teach several lab sections for them. She is currently a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mrs. Peterson’s daughter Sedona is a sophomore this year at Valley Lutheran and her husband Leslie works as a technology manager at a bank.