Meet Our Amazing Staff – Sarah Williver
For our fall spotlight, we want to recognize one of our newer staff members who is revitalizing and expanding our STE(a)M programs: Sarah Williver. As STE(a)M Program Manager, Sarah directs our Robotics offerings, including First LEGO League teams, and intro and specialty clubs for K-8th graders.
Sarah’s passion for Science and Education has been a constant throughout her life. She worked for Oregon State University 4-H as their STEM outreach specialist on the state and local level. She has partnered with NASA, National Geographic, and ESRI to bring innovative science and technology programs to Oregon. She holds a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems.
Previously, Sarah spent 9 months opening a STEM school (K-12) in Da Nang, Vietnam. She worked as a Programs Director for San Ysidro Vanguard Education Foundation, taught for robotics education for Carnegie Mellon internationally, worked for Oregon State University as an outreach specialist, and co-created EquipoGIS (a traveling GIS team). She was also a NASA Mercury Messenger Fellow, and consulted with NASA on their rural outreach program. She worked with National Geographic and ESRI to create a mapping competition at local and state fairs that now has been implemented across the country.
Sarah is passionate about all things STE(a)M and will be bringing new science focused programs to Camp Fire Central Oregon. Some of these new programs are competitive and recreational robotics, geospatial information system community projects, drone flying and videography, and after school programs based in science.
Check out our recent interview with Sarah and learn more about all that she brings to Camp Fire:
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
I am an intensely curious person who enjoys inspiring youth. I am active and love adventure. My passions are travel, hiking, gardening, all things tech and all sorts of crafts.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Originally from Idaho, I moved to Bend in 1971. My mother was raised in Bend, and we moved here to be closer to family. I went to Bear Creek Elementary, Pilot Butte Middle School (Junior High), and Mountain View High School.
WHAT MATTERS TO YOU? WHAT PUSHES YOU/MOTIVATES YOU?
What matters to me the most is reaching people in a positive way. I love inspiring youth and adults to try new things, and to see their success. I enjoy teaching people about technology, and creating a drive in youth to learn on their own.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF CAMP FIRE AND IN WHAT WAYS?
Originally a Blue Bird in 1976, I attended club and camps through elementary school. When my children were young, I led a community club once a week for youth pre-K through grade 2. I come from a long line of Camp Fire enthusiasts as my mother was in Camp Fire and earned her Wohelo in 1956 and my grandmother also was in Camp Fire and earned her Wohelo in 1928.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF "CAMP”?
My favorite part of “camp” is being outdoors in Nature. I find being outside grounding, and I love to explore trails, waterfalls, and forests. I love making crafts out of natural materials. There are two memories that I have from “camp” that are especially sentimental. One year we made “fairy” houses along the lake edge out of sticks and twigs and rocks. When we came back the next morning, several were inhabited by frogs. I think this inspired my fascination with all living things including frogs, snakes, and bugs. The other memory is of swimming at camp. At age 10 I earned my dolphin, and could swim over a mile.
WHAT ARE YOUR “SPARKS”?
My sparks are working with children, science education, technology, robotics, geospatial information systems community projects, hiking to waterfalls, hot springs, nature, butterflies, sunsets and hand crafts.
WERE YOU INSPIRED BY AN ADULT MENTOR? HOW?
My parents inspired my love all things in nature, and spending time outside. They took us camping, hiking, and skiing from a very young age. I also had many phenomenal teachers including Lynda Hatch at Pilot Butte Middle School who used innovative teaching techniques to encourage me to follow my interests, and pushed me to learn more. As an adult working with Oregon State I had many amazing mentors: Teresa Hogue - who taught me to continue to persevere even when some people didn’t understand why technology was important, and that other people's’ attitudes were theirs not mine. Dana Martin - who taught me to always be kind, and to listen in order to understand and come to consensus. Carolyn Clontz who taught my very first class in scientific inquiry, and made me realize that science teaching could be taught in a completely different way. Lisa Conroy, who taught me all things Geospatial Information Systems, and how to work with high school youth. Cathy Swider who has always supported my crazy robot ideas, and has been a great friend for over fifteen years.
All of my mentors have one thing in common, when I find a passion or a direction, they support me 100% and listen intently to my ideas. Mentors are a vital part of my education, and my career.