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Iris Knowles

Major: Master of Arts in Teaching (bachelor’s in biology ’22)

Clark Days: Iris’ natural sense of curiosity led her from her hometown of Clifton, New Jersey, to Clark, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2022. For the past academic year, Knowles has been teaching biology to freshmen at Worcester’s South High School as part of her MAT training. Iris’ favorite lesson plan from the past year demonstrated ocean acidification: She had her students blow into a container filled with an indicator solution called Bromothymol blue, which changes in color from blue to yellow as it becomes more acidic. Carbon dioxide from the students’ respiration initiated the color change. Students were engaged in the lesson, which taught them about how the increased levels of carbon from human pollution are causing ocean acidification. At Clark, Iris was an RA, worked for admissions and in Professor David Hibbett’s mycology lab, and played lacrosse.

Post-Commencement Plans: Iris will be teaching ninth-grade biology at Discovery High School in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. She’s moving to the Bronx with friends from Clark.

Observation: “As I’ve become better at lesson planning, I’ve been able to connect topics to students’ lives and make lessons more exploratory. I’m doing a lot more showing rather than telling.”