Faculty Profiles

Laura Rubiano-Gomez

Science
“Don't be afraid to fail, or ask for help.”
 
I have always been interested in understanding the process (the how and the why) of our surroundings, particularly the natural world. I remember building a seismograph after experiencing my first earthquake at the age of nine, out of a deep desire to understand this new phenomenon. This quest for knowledge is a driving force in my teaching. I appreciate that at High Mowing we are able to provide the space for students to ask questions—questions that might not be considered otherwise; questions that challenge the status quo. They are exposed to the fact that humanity's driving questions are clearly reflected in everything we do—whether it is physics, horticulture, or the humanities.

My goal as a science teacher is for my students discover the concepts we discuss in our physics blocks from their own experience and to help them develop the capacity and confidence to challenge themselves—to answer their own questions. This year during our Electricity and Magnetism block in 11th grade, I observed how the students exercised these new capacities as theyanswered each other's questions during an impromptu study session. The most rewarding aspect for me is having the students come back, after our class together has ended, and share the connections they have found between what we learned in physics and their other subjects, or other aspects of their lives.

I began my own education at a Math and Science magnet high school in Los Angeles, California. Thinking back, there are many parallels with the work being done here at High Mowing, and some stark differences. The sense of community and openness at High Mowing is unsurpassed by any of my previous experiences. And just like High Mowing, where students are exposed to a variety of subjects and are able to explore their individual interests, I was able to explore and broaden my horizon by taking classes such as Anthropology, Civil and Criminal Law, and Architecture.

I attended MIT for undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering, where I developed an understanding of the interconnectedness of environmental systems through research and fieldwork. I continued in graduate school at Texas A&M, where I studied Physical Oceanography and deepened my love for our oceans and water in general.

One parallel I see in myself and the mission at High Mowing is that I have lived into my curiosity: I've had the privilege of working on projects ranging from the MOSES flood control project in Venice, Italy, climate change research off the coasts of the Galapagos Islands and Oregon, studying the effects of hypoxia (low concentrations of oxygen) off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana and Chile, and the assessment of environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I have spent over 370 days on research boats, swam with sharks in Ecuador, played with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, and observed whales and penguins in their natural habitat, while developing a deep love and sense of social responsibility for this world—the only one we have.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BS Environmental Engineering
Texas A&M, MS, Physical Oceanography 
Center for Anthroposophy High School Teacher Training - Certificate