Sara Rosenthal plans on becoming an upper elementary school teacher who educates her students and expands on STEM-related topics. In her free time, Sara likes to paint, get outside, and hang out with her friends.
Get to know Sara
- Major/minor: Elementary education
- Class: Sophomore
- Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Linn County)
- Career goal: Become an upper elementary school teacher and start a STEM program at a school that may not have one
- Clubs/activities: ISU 4U Promise, FIRST Tech Challenge – Robotics team
- Awards/honors/scholarships: Dean’s list
- Favorite place on campus: Lake LaVerne
- Most influential ISU mentors: Alicia Edwards, Monic Behnken
- Favorite class: EDUC 201, Educational Technologies in the PK-6 Classroom
- Why Iowa State: Previous visits to Iowa State through her involvement in the FIRST LEGO League, an organization hosted by Iowa State.
Sara Rosenthal aims to expand STEM education to all, break stereotypes and boost student confidence
Sara Rosenthal has been involved with robotics since she was very young, and the experiences she gained through robotics during her high school career only increased her passion.
“Looking back at high school, I did a lot of community outreach with students for my robotics team,” Sara said. “This included a free robotics summer camp, coaching a FIRST LEGO League team, making a Special Olympics Unified Robotics Club, and working at STEM events.”
When she first arrived at Iowa State University, Sara was interested in pursuing computer engineering, but a sudden realization occurred to her when she began working as a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) student role model. Through this position she discovered her passion to expand STEM education to more students, while breaking down common stereotypes and misconceptions about these academic disciplines.
“I was looking forward to going to work. I was getting complimented by some of the other role models, mentioning that I was good at teaching. Teaching started slowly taking over my thoughts,” Sara said.
Since changing her major to elementary education, Sara has continued to involve herself in numerous organizations to prepare herself for her future as a teacher.
She currently is an outreach mentor for a FIRST Tech Challenge Team, a robotics team that aids in students’ understanding of engineering. Sara has also done a lot of refereeing for the FIRST LEGO League, which is designed to help students in kindergarten through eighth grade build STEM skills.
Because Sara was able to discover her own unique passions through her involvement in robotics and STEM-related activities, she is determined to share these passions with younger generations, hoping to build their confidence and inspire them.
“[Robotics has] been such a large part of my life. It’s a really strong community. And I love watching the kids get so excited and accomplish their own goals,” Sara said.
One of Sara’s goals is to bring an organization to campus that was originally founded in the state of Washington: Special Olympics Unified Robotics. This organization helps encourage students with and without disabilities to consider a career within the STEM field.
Looking ahead, Sara is excited for the many new opportunities that may come her way as she prepares to become a future educator.
“I am extremely happy that I realized my passion for teaching STEM when working for WISE,” she said.