Wayne has spent his career making STEM education more accessible, engaging, and fun for learners of all ages. With a focus on out of school learning opportunities he brings years of experience in hands-on STEM education to the team. He has a background in traditional “lab bench” science and worked in the Marine Sciences Department at UNC Chapel Hill as an undergraduate where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Decision Making. While at UNC he was introduced to the world of informal science education through a service learning opportunity at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
For over ten years Wayne helped develop and manage many of the STEM education programs at Morehead Planetarium. Through the Science Summer Camp and Morehead Afterschool Programs he developed, tested, and implemented STEM curricula for thousands of young learners in grades K-8 in a variety of science disciplines. Wayne played a major role in creating live science shows, new exhibits, STEM overnights, and field trip experiences for Morehead Planetarium and the NC Science Festival. He has even taken his love of science and education abroad and has written and developed STEM content for young learners in both China and in France for unique out of school learning opportunities. Wayne has a particular interest in training educators in science communication and the delivery of STEM content to varied audiences.
With the goal of making a broader impact, and to continue in his efforts to increase access to STEM learning, Wayne obtained a master’s degree in Elementary Education and Teacher Leadership from Elizabeth City State University. He took those skills to the North Carolina public school system as a first grade teacher and then as a middle school science teacher. Wayne spent a year teaching and learning at Willow Oak Montessori School where he implemented a student driven approach to STEM education as their science specialist.
Wayne strongly believes that everyone is a lifelong learner and that providing exciting, engaging, and meaningful STEM experiences to students outside the classroom can have a lasting impact on how they perceive and engage with STEM. Through his effort at NC CAP he hopes to spread his enthusiasm for science and learning to every corner of North Carolina.