Science Explorers is a mentoring program,
supported by experienced Chicago Public School teachers and Northwestern University scientists.


Matthew Myers
Biology Teacher

Matthew has been teaching biology for 9 years at Mather. Clearly a budding scientist from an early age, he was always the kid that brought frogs home in his pockets and had an inquisitive spirit. Watching kids start to question things and ask “why?” and “how?” are just part of what he loves about teaching. After school you can find Matthew running any one of several after school clubs including: gardening, knitting/crochet and Indian club. Being the consummate scientist that he is, Matthew is an avid baker but also thoroughly enjoys the art of cooking! 

Julianne Hatfield, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Julianne received her PhD in Immunology from Northwestern University in 2015. Julianne’s interest in science education and community engagement started in 2010 as a graduate student volunteer with Science in Society’s Science Club. She then co-ran a Junior Science Club program in the Little Village neighborhood. Julianne loves running and biking along the lakeshore and experimenting in the kitchen!

Brett Pepowski
Science Education Fellow

Brett recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Biology. She is especially interested in science communication, microbiology, public health, and ecology. Her other hobbies include hiking and technical theatre.



Mechelle Washington
Biology Teacher

Mechelle has been teaching biology for seventeen years at Mather. Little known fact: she got a degree in Communication Radio/TV from Northwestern University! Her love for biology started with an article on how the future of medicine would be influenced through the use of gene therapy. She knew she wanted to teach high school biology and share the wonders of science with students. Her favorite thing about teaching is expanding minds and watching someone get exited while learning something new. Mechelle enjoys the outdoors, and that’s where you can find her outside of school. 

Michael Kennedy, PhD
Director, Science in Society

Growing up with incredibly supportive teachers, coaches, and parents, Mike believes deeply in the magic of mentorship. He is founding director of the Science in Society research center at Northwestern – dedicated to developing world-class STEM learning opportunities for Chicago’s teachers and underserved youth. In his spare time he coaches travel hockey, fishes, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife and three children.

Dan Wood
Science Education Fellow

Dan graduated with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from DePaul University. He has research experience in neuroendocrinology, psychology, and organic chemistry. Daniel’s future plan is to attend medical school to become a doctor, with a strong interest in psychiatry, neurology, and sleep medicine. Outside of academics, he loves to run and bike along the lakefront, collect vinyl records, and explore nature. 


Science in Society

Science Explorers is an initiative of Science in Society, a research center at Northwestern University dedicated to science education and community engagement. Our focus is to develop sustainable educational programs that deliver proven results to the groups that need it most. This work is funded by a grant from AT&T Foundation and is an educational research study.