Marijke Hecht

Marijke is fascinated by the intersections of interest driven learning and content understanding, science and art, and formal and informal learning settings. She is committed to educational equity and hopes to bridge research with practice so that more students can have high quality out-of-school learning opportunities. Before entering the LSAP program Marijke worked for nearly 20 years in a variety of educational settings, including teaching middle school math and science in NYC public schools, teaching adults English in Bolivia, and educating community members about local environmental health and stewardship of Pittsburgh's greenspaces. Most recently she was the Director of Education for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy where she led an amazing team of educators in a mission to use public parks as classrooms for people of all ages. While there she also led the design and construction of the Frick Environmental Center, a new urban environmental education facility slated to meet LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certifications. She received her Master of Science in Botany from the University of Vermont and her Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College. Marijke is interested in how the natural world can best be used as a platform for student exploration of science, art, and other disciplines in the 21st Century. This includes examining how to build effective partnerships between schools and informal educational organizations and how to develop organizational practices that lead to more effective teaching.