Mr. Stein is the chemistry and physics teacher at Algona High School. He went to college at UNI and graduated with a degree in middle school and junior high science education with endorsements in earth and space science and all-science 5-12. He has been teaching at Algona for the past three years.
Mr. Stein originally planned to be a chemical engineer, but when he saw the price tag to become one at Iowa State, he opted for teaching as a career. When he decided to pursue teaching, he had to choose a subject as a specialty. At first he wanted to be an English teacher, but he ultimately chose science because he thought that he could connect and engage kids better with the subject matter. If he could teach any other subject, Mr. Stein would choose to teach astronomy. His reasoning is that not only is he interested in the field, but there is also infinite potential in the subject. The favorite aspect of his job is the intrinsic value. Teaching gives him a way to directly influence students and serve the community.
Mr. Stein advises and helps with high school Quiz Bowl, Model U.N., Academic Decathlon, middle school Quiz Bowl, and high school band. To organize and plan these activities, Mr Stein has to deal with a ton of bureaucratic and managerial duties. He has to research the information and logistics, then convey the results to students and administration in a timely manner. The biggest challenges of being responsible for these activities are keeping everything orderly and organized, as well as allocating an adequate amount of time to each group’s activity, so not one of them gets backlogged or shortchanged. Stein advises these activities because when he went to high school, he really appreciated the value in the experiences he gained. Although there are a plethora of extracurricular options in athletics, the activities Mr. Stein advises provide unique opportunities for anyone who wishes to get involved. When asked about what encouragement he would give to students thinking about joining clubs, Mr. Stein responded, ”It is not as intimidating as it may appear.”