Becky Tapley

Becky TapleyMMSA Title: STEM Education Specialist – Mathematics

Hometown: currently: Penobscot, Maine; childhood: Salt Lake City, Utah

Education: Undergrad: Lake Forest College, Psychology and chemistry; Graduate: University of Maine Orono; Master of Arts in Teaching

Something you’re proud of at MMSA: I’m proud of the consistent focus on creating high-quality STEM programs, while also increasing access and equity for STEM learning.

What is your teaching/learning philosophy: Learning is a life-long process. Learning should be active, engaging, and student-centered.

STEM passion area: I love mathematics! Math is full of beauty and is a creative subject that can be full of discovery by the learners. Thankfully, there has been a shift to make math an area where learners of all ages can make sense of numbers and relationships between quantities.

What do you like most about your role at MMSA: I love working with incredible educators and dedicated MMSA staff members. Anytime I have the joy of working with educators in Maine and around the country, I walk away inspired by their insight and passion for their students. The MMSA staff members are also committed to providing fabulous opportunities for educators and work together to make this happen.

Favorite STEM-related memory: It’s the second period of the day and it’s my 7th grade math class. My students are standing up, writing on the white boards on the walls. They are clumped together in small groups and there is quite a lot of conversation. These students are actively problem-solving. Every student is trying to find a solution to the math task using approaches that makes sense to them. They were working together, using real-world connections, and have totally lost track of time. This is real math learning.

What did you do before you worked at MMSA: I worked for 18 years in public schools in Maine, most recently at the Brooklin School. I taught grades 3-8 mathematics.

What do you like to do in your free time: Spend time with my wife, family, and friends; listen to a podcast; take a run or walk outside.

What memory from your childhood would you like to share that exemplifies why you do the STEM education related work that you do:I recall an incredible project in about 5th grade where we were keeping track of some sort of trek being done in the Arctic. I’m not sure how we were communicating with these people, as this was the 80s. But, there was true excitement on this real-world connection. The teacher was tying in all of the disciplines of STEM as well as literacy. This was the gifted-talented program, and it was such a stark contrast to the rest of my day that included plenty of workbooks. I now see the magic that was happening in that classroom and strongly believe that it should be the case across the curriculum, for all students.

Becky’s Bio: Becky is a STEM Education Mathematics Specialist at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. Becky graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Lake Forest College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Maine. She holds a K-8 teaching certification and a grades 5-8 mathematics endorsement. Prior to joining MMSA, she taught internationally at the Antwerp International School, and returned to teach in Maine at the Scarborough Middle School and the Brooklin School. During her 18 years of teaching, she developed her passion for teaching mathematics and collaborating with other teachers to support students’ intellectual and emotional growth. Becky had the honor of being the 2016 Hancock County Teacher of the Year and 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist. In her spare time, Becky enjoys playing piano, taking walks, reading, and listening to great podcasts.

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Phone: (207) 626 3230 x127

Email: all emails are first initial last name at mmsa.org

Projects: 

Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM (ACRES)
Math Consulting
Numeracy in Nature
WeatherBlur

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