Rachelle Blinoff-Mudd

Instructional Content Specialist

1.     What is your experience in STEM professions?
I worked as a lab technician at a university research facility studying muscular dystrophy for three years and transitioned into patient care after college.

2.     What’s your history teaching STEM?
Prior to working at iCEV, I taught health sciences and biotechnology (grades 7-12) for eight years in California.

3.     Why do you think STEM education is important?
At its core, STEM exposes students to the real-world application of problem-solving skills. STEM courses encourage students to consider how they can solve an issue and test solutions regardless of the topic. As a society, we need to continue to cultivate these skills in students so they can make changes for a positive future, both in their community and globally.

4.     What is a moment you cherish from teaching?
I really enjoyed advising, mentoring and chaperoning students in HOSA competitions. It is so inspiring to see students actively pursue their passions and build the skills needed to be successful in their dream jobs.

5.     What was your favorite project you used in your classroom?
Henrietta Lacks Bioethics Project- This was a cross-curricular project that utilized biotech, biology, history, and English components. Students used HeLa cells to perform a chromosome spread and observe the cells’ behavior while learning about cancer cells and markers. Students also completed an assignment to determine the impact HeLa cells had on the scientific community. Simultaneously (or the weeks before the project), students read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and performed a mini-research assignment on the history of scientific research in the U.S. All these activities culminated in a student-run mock court trial of Lacks family v. John Hopkins Hospital.

6.     What’s an ed tech tool you could not live without in the classroom?
While teaching during the pandemic, Loom became an essential tool for delivering asynchronous instructional content and showing students how to complete tasks virtually. I envision Loom to continue being used to deliver content to students who are absent or need additional support.

7.     What are some of the coolest things you’ve seen or implemented in a CTE program?
Our district develop partnerships with local biotech startup companies to provide students the opportunity to learn about the fields of biotech and the process of innovation. The partnership, called Medical Innovation Research & Entrepreneurship (MIRE), allowed students to visit the wet lab workspace and get hands-on instruction from the innovators about using various tools and showing them the projects they were working on. As a result of the partnership, we developed an after-school class in conjunction with the biotech startup to immerse students in the biomedical innovation process. For two months, students worked to create innovations that solved clinical needs presented by physicians at a local hospital. Once a week, student innovation groups would meet with mentors to learn about a specific topic related to biomedical innovation (testing strategies, FDA approval, Intellectual Property, pitching to investors, etc.) and get feedback on their innovation. At the end of the course, students pitched their innovation (Shark Tank style) to the physicians who identified the clinical need.

8.     What’s a course you would like to write for iCEV that we don’t have plans to make yet?
Sports Medicine

9.     What’s something you’re learning right now (outside of work)?
We are in the middle of doing our own home remodel, so I am learning lots about construction, plumbing and electrical work. 

10.  What is a unique skill or perspective you bring to our STEM team? 
While teaching, I worked with students from a wide array of backgrounds. One school I worked at had a very high dropout rate, while another school I taught at is one of the top 20 schools in the U.S. These experiences provided me with insight about how to develop lessons that interest all students and include activities that students with varying abilities can complete.

11.  Where do you work from?
Las Vegas, NV

12.     Do you have any furry coworkers?
Mac, my crazy Australian Shepard