Say hello to Jarod Phillips, a new employee at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)!
Native of Oklahoma City, Jarod has a military background having served in Iraq for two year as a foot soldier in the Army. He also served two years in upstate New York and three months in Georgia. After his service in the Army, Jarod obtained a degree in Communications and moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked in the communications field for a couple of years in non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Jarod is Project Manager for Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) and Camp Invention Initiative (CII), which is owned by Invent Now. Both programs are under the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) portfolio either through sponsorship or partnership and supported by NSTA.
GEMS is a non-residence summer camp that is held at locations across the country where there is an Army research laboratory. The program allows junior high/high school students the opportunity to work with near-peer mentors in the lab to learn about STEM, based on a curriculum created by the lab.
Outside of NSTA, Jarod spends a lot of time doing activities with his 2-year old daughter Madeleine and wife Jackie. These activities include playgrounds and a lot of shopping trips during the day.
“I love to play games that are social,” said Jarod. “I enjoy going to public places to play games with people I may or may not know, as opposed to playing the traditional video games at home.”
Jarod has long been a part of the “hobby store” scene, where you’d go and play Dungeons and Dragons or random card games.
Coming from the Army in some ways helps inform a lot of the decisions Jarod makes in his new role as project manager for GEMS/CII.
“A lot of the people I work with are Army civilians and families which helps me understand and guides a lot of the outreach that I do here at NSTA for the STEM programs,” said Jarod. “I look forward to really growing the GEMS program, because there is a need for it. I also want to impact more students’ lives.”