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Students participating in UW Youth & Teen Programs aren’t required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, we strongly encourage students to be up to date with vaccinations. Learn more >>

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UW Youth & Teen Programs

Meet the Instructors

Nicole Appell

Nicole Appell

Nicole Appell is a Seattle-area teaching artist. A graduate of the UW School of Art, Nicole has taught art at many local institutions, including the Kirkland Arts Center; the Frye Art Museum; MoPOP; and the Seattle, Lake Washington, Issaquah and Renton public schools. In her teaching, she takes a “no mistakes” approach that encourages exploration and invites students to experience art making as an act of joyful expression.

Teaches: Mixed Media Art & Mosaics


Olivia Bishop

Olivia Bishop

Olivia Bishop is a current University of Washington student and competitor on the UW Mock Trial team. She intends to go to law school after graduation. Olivia works as a nanny for kids between the ages of 10 months and 14 years old. She loves working with kids and helping families navigate education from home due to the pandemic. She is excited to share her love of law and mock trial with students and to work alongside them in cultivating skills related to those topics. 

Teaches: Inside the Courthouse


Dei Caudle

Dei Caudle

Dei Caudle is an instructional technician in the Dabble Lab makerspace at the University of Washington. She graduated from the UW with a degree in physics and enjoys applying her knowledge in the makerspace to help students create new and exciting projects. Her current favorite project is a shopping-list generator that she made for her mom.

Teaches: Make It! Innovation Design Lab: Circuits & Computers and Make It! Innovation Design Lab: Rapid Prototyping


Caitlin Chamberlin

Caitlin ChamberlainCaitlin Chamberlin earned a master of education with a science concentration from the University of Washington, and she’s taught elementary and middle school students since 2013. Before graduate school, Caitlin developed and taught field-based science courses at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island and for the Pacific Science Center. Caitlin loves to inspire students to be curious about their world. 

Teaches: DIY Electronics! and NanoCamp!


Josephine Cripps

Josephine Cripps

Josephine Cripps is an educator in Seattle Public Schools and teaches writing, history, English and journalism to middle and high school students. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from UCLA and has worked in story development for film production companies, publishers and literary agencies.

Teaches: Screenwriting Workshop 


Hannah Dahleen

Hannah Dahleen

Hannah Dahleen is a current University of Washington student double majoring in honors English and political science. She is the president of the UW Mock Trial team and has competed as both an attorney and a witness. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and pursue a career in the legal field. She has tutored students of all ages in various subjects, and she is passionate about writing, teaching and advocacy.

Teaches: Inside the Courthouse


Meganne DesRosier

Meganne DesRosier

Meganne DesRosier graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in architecture and a minor in sustainable environments. Her studies in Copenhagen during her fourth year shaped her design approach, which has a specific focus on adaptive reuse and people-centricity. Her portfolio includes a range of civic, arts and cultural, residential, winery, art installation and graphic design projects.

Teaches: Architectural Studies and Community Architecture Studio


Matt Fujimoto

Matt Fujimoto

Matt Fujimoto is a graduate of the UW Department of Architecture. Matt's work is influenced by their travel experiences and passion for music. They have a rich portfolio that includes urban design and planning; the design of corporate offices, commercial spaces, multi- and single-family structures, and art installations; and the use of innovative construction methods.

Teaches: Architectural Studies and Community Architecture Studio


Matt Gano

Matt Gano

Matt Gano is an author and creative writing instructor with over 15 years of teaching experience. He’s been a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts & Lectures’  Writers in the Schools program and a traveling teaching artist for the  Skagit River Poetry Foundation. Matt is also the author of Suits for the Swarm, co-founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program and former director of Fremont Abbey Arts Center’s NEXT STAGE program.

Teaches: Young Writers Workshop


Jason Hansen

Jason Hansen

Jason Hansen manages HUB Games, the premier entertainment destination on the UW campus, offering bowling, pool, table tennis and gaming. In 2019, the HUB opened the Esports Arena & Gaming Lounge, a state-of-the-art gaming center that supports casual and competitive gaming and virtual reality. UW’s gaming space serves as the epicenter between student communities, business communities and gaming culture in the Northwest while focusing on three distinct pillars: community, career and competition. 

Teaches: Esports, Gaming & Broadcasting 


Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes teaches English and writing at Eastern Oregon University. She has taught college-level classes in composition and rhetoric, modern and contemporary literature, creative writing, interdisciplinary writing, science writing, environmental humanities, women’s studies and public scholarship. She holds a doctorate in English language and literature from the UW.

Teaches: Writers Workshop and Writing for College Readiness


Steve Howard

Steve Howard

Steve Howard is a middle school STEM teacher in the Edmonds School District. His work focuses on engineering and design-build projects. Steve takes a hands-on approach to promote technical skills in youth, including CAD modeling; coding; robotics; 3D and laser printing; and using shop tools to build confidence, creativity and career-connected learning.

Teaches: 3D Design & CAD Modeling, Engineering Challenges! and Exploring Microbiology


Angela Kelley

Angela Kelley

Angela Kelley has been a professional actor for more than 30 years and has worked with youth in theater in many capacities, from Missoula Children's Theatre to Studio East and Seattle Children's Theatre. She’s especially proud of her involvement with Newport Heights Elementary School in Bellevue, where she’s directed large-scale theatrical productions for almost 20 years.

Teaches: Actors Workshop and Young Actors Workshop


Conor Kelley

Conor Kelley

Conor Kelley’s publications include The Catcher’s Handbook (McFarland, 2014), an award-winning short story in Bellevue Literary Review and a weekly column in The Stranger. He's an instructor in the UW Certificate in Editing and has also taught at New York University, the City of Seattle's Westside Scholars program and the Headstrong for Life Foundation. Conor is a graduate of the New York University Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts program.

Teaches: Sharpen Your Writing Skills


Terence Kelley

Terence Kelley

Terence Kelley has been a professional actor and teacher for more than 30 years. He has toured nationally with the Missoula Children's Theatre, where he played such roles as Oz the Great and Powerful in The Wizard of Oz. At Seattle Children's Theatre, he played Aslan the Lion in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He codirects the theater program at Newport Heights Elementary School with Angela Kelley.

Teaches: Actors Workshop, Scenes From Musical Theater for Kids and Scenes From Musical Theater for Middle School


Cole Kopca

Cole Kopca

Cole Kopca is the assistant director of the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium and a doctoral student in the Smart Transportation Applications & Research Lab at the University of Washington. His research focuses on the interplay between new and emerging mobility services and more classical modes of transportation. Cole received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in urban planning from the UW.

Teaches: Introduction to Autonomous Cars


Dora Lanier

Dora Lanier

Dora Lanier is an actor, writer, director and teacher working in the Puget Sound and beyond. Most recently she performed Horvath in Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People for a tour of Minnesota with Sod House Theater of Minneapolis. As a musical theater director and choreographer, she’s worked with Shoreline High School, Meadowdale Middle School, Youth Theater Northwest, Studio East, Seattle Public Theater, Village Theater KIDS and Second Story Rep youth programs.

Teaches: Scenes From Musical Theater for Kids, Scenes From Musical Theater for Middle School and Young Actors Workshop


Erik Ma

Erik Ma

Erik Ma is a senior at Interlake High School and has participated in robotics competitions for more than three years. He's mentored students and robotic teams from across the country as well as in China, India and Canada. Erik has experience teaching and helping younger students in a variety of subjects, including English language arts, math and entrance tests for gifted programs.

Teaches: Introduction to Autonomous Cars


Julie Olsen  

Julie OlsenJulie Olsen is a Washington state certified K–12 drama and English language arts instructor and teaching artist. She currently teaches theater skills and directs the drama program at Assumption-St. Bridget School in Seattle. Julie has taught at the Veladare School, the Washington Academy of Performing Arts Conservatory High School and Roosevelt High School. An executive board member of Washington state’s Educational Theatre Association, Julie chairs the Washington State Junior Thespian Conference. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the UW School of Drama and a master's in teaching from Seattle Pacific University. 

Teaches: Writers Workshop


John Parker

John Parker

John Parker is a STEM specialist and former middle school science teacher for Seattle Public Schools. John enjoys showing students the creative possibilities and applications of makerspace tools and technology.

Teaches: 3D Design & CAD Modeling, Engineering Challenges! and Exploring Microbiology


Andy Peterson

Andy PetersonAndy Peterson combines his extensive background in engineering, electronics and art to create multidisciplinary workshops for middle school students that feature creativity and problem-solving. He’s received generous funding for his projects from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture and Artist Trust. He's the founder of Seattle Robotic Arts!, an after-school program for adolescents in South Seattle. Andy is currently pursuing a doctorate in information science at the University of Washington.   

Teaches: DIY Electronics!


Ray Pfortner

Ray PfortnerRay Pfortner loves photography and teaching, especially teaching teens. He's been doing both for over 20 years in New York City, California and Seattle. Ray is an instructor for the UW’s Certificate in Photography and Bellevue College’s Digital Photography Certificate Program. He’s worked in photography as an educator, stock agent, editor, consultant and photographer. Ray has a bachelor's in biology from Yale University and a master's in environmental management from Duke University. He’s been a fellow of the North American Nature Photography Association since 2003. His photography is represented by Getty Images.  

Teaches: Wild About Photography and Digital Photography: From Camera to Composition 


Anna Simas

Anna Simas

Anna Simas is a lecturer at the UW and has taught Latin, Greek and classics courses at all levels. She has seven years of college teaching experience. Her primary research and teaching interests are Greek tragedy, mythology, Roman Stoic philosophy, Greek vase painting, and gender and women in the ancient world. She received her doctorate in classics from the UW.

Teaches: Welcome to Ancient Rome! Latin Fundamentals


Jack Straub

Jack Straub

Jack Straub spent more than 35 years as a software developer and engineer in the computer industry, where he focused on system-level implementations using a variety of languages and platforms. He also helped develop corporate coding standards in PL/I and C and authored textbooks on several programming languages, including C. Jack has been honored for teaching excellence by UW Professional & Continuing Education.

Teaches: Coding in Java I and Coding in Java II


Samantha Tetef

Samantha Tetef

Samantha Tetef is a doctoral candidate in the physics department at the UW, where she researches ways to combine machine learning and x-ray spectroscopy to advance technologies in clean energy. She's taught programming languages, including Java and C++, at summer tech camps and is actively involved in STEM Pals, a campuswide high school outreach organization.

Teaches: NanoCamp!


Dan Vallejo

Dan Vallejo

Dan Vallejo is a senior software engineer at Nordstrom. Over his 25‐year career in software development, he's worked on a number of diverse and complex projects, including Microsoft Money, Microrim’s R:Base for Windows and Microsoft Visual Studio. Dan has taught classes in C, C++, MFC, OLE, COM and other programming languages for more than a decade at Bellevue College. He’s also taught courses in C# at the UW since 2016.

Teaches: Algorithmic Thinking: Programming Logic Fundamentals


Sabet Vallejo

Sabet Vallejo

Sabet Vallejo has been an engineer for more than 30 years and a technology instructor for 20 years. She’s excited about the power of engineering to create simple solutions to complex problems. During her career, she’s solved many engineering problems through the use of software development tools. Sabet earned a master’s in engineering construction from the University of Washington.

Teaches: Algorithmic Thinking: Programming Logic Fundamentals


Wei-Chih Wang

Wei-Chih Wang

Wei-Chih Wang is an affiliated associate professor in the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. His principal research is in the area of optical MEMS, fiber-optic sensors, and advance materials and structure study. Wei-Chih is passionate about engaging youth in STEM-related learning. He encourages students to engage with the materials directly because he believes that students learn about technology far more effectively through hands-on experiences than from absorbing it only from textbooks and theory.

Teaches: Introduction to Engineering Design & Process


Sarah Zeitler

Sarah Zeitler

Sarah Zeitler is a graduate student in the laboratory of Matthew Golder at the University of Washington, where she makes polymeric materials in new and exciting ways. Before graduate school, she briefly worked as a middle science teacher and discovered the joys of sharing her love of science with students. Sarah's eager to share how different the nanoscale is and how we use such differences to better our world.

Teaches: NanoCamp!