Sarah Reeves Young is the Utah Science Specialist for the Utah State Office of Education. Young provides technical support and leadership in the development and improvement of science education in the elementary and secondary schools of the state. She plans, develops, promotes, implements and evaluates programs in science. Additionally, Young provides statewide training for school personnel of all levels, parents, other state agencies and the public in science. She also coordinates with colleges, universities and other educational institutions to improve the pre-service and in-service education of teachers, administrators and other school personnel. Finally, Young administers State and Federal grants, implements and monitors State and Federal legislation, and provides technical support in the area of current research-based practices.
Prior to moving into this role, Young was an 8th grade physical science teacher from Rowland Hall Middle School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aside from her work in the classroom, Young was involved in the academic realm as an adjunct professor for Westminster College where she teaches their Masters students in secondary science methods and was also the Program Director for the Teacher Training Institute.
Young earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental, Population, and Organism Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May of 2004. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree, she pursued her Master’s Degree in Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Young earned her degree in Secondary Science Education in May of 2005, while concurrently gaining a year of direct school experience under the direction of master mentor teachers at Brookwood School in Manchester, Massachusetts.
Young has published in NSTA Science Scope, presented at local and national conferences, and participated in several professional development institutes. She recently published a book titled Gourmet Lab: The Scientific Principles Behind Your Favorite Foods. This collection of 15 hands-on experiments—each of which includes a full set of both student and teacher pages—challenges students to take on the role of scientist and chef, as they boil, bake, and toast their way to better understanding of science concepts from chemistry, biology, and physics. She is a former Academies Creating Teacher Scientists fellow with the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia, Solar System Educator with NASA, and a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison.
Young is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists. As a teacher, she fosters students’ natural curiosity by providing examples of how the science content from class is reflected in the everyday world around them. From the simple machines used while eating, to the inaccuracy of sound and motion in space while watching a “Star Wars” clip, Young uses creative insights to connect these concepts to the daily lives of students. She is passionate about science education for all students, and strives to help everyone find their “inner scientist”.
"To Infinity... and BEYOND!"
- Buzz Lightyear from Disney's Toy Story