Global Changemakers!


St. Thomas Aquinas is very proud to announce that two of its science teachers have earned their National Geographic Educator Certification. This certification recognizes “educators committed to inspiring the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and changemakers. These educators are part of a powerful movement to make the world a better place by empowering students to be informed decision-makers equipped to solve meaningful challenges in their communities and beyond. They don’t just teach students about the world—teach them how to change it.”

Certification requires a proven understanding of National Geographic’s philosophy of teaching about the world and the NG Learning Framework. It also requires implementation of an activity or lesson and the submission of a capstone project that demonstrates students’ increase in areas outlines by National Geographic.

Both Ms. Piper Bartlett and Dr. Sue Pike have worked tirelessly to equip St. Thomas Aquinas students with a global perspective while contemplating the role of science in our world.

Ms. Bartlett spent last summer as a participant in the national PolarTREC Program and spent multiple weeks conducting long-term climate change research on a US Coast Guard vessel in the Arctic. She will be sharing her experiences on WMUR's NH Chronicle on January 3, 2020.

“Here in coastal New England, we’re heavily impacted by sea level rise,” said Dr. Pike. “For my National Geographic Certification Capstone Project, I had my freshmen STEM class study sea-level rise both here and globally. My goal was for students to learn about the science behind climate change and to understand what a huge complex situation it is but also to see that there are solutions and that by working with our own communities and people across the globe, we can make a difference.”

Climate change, environmental science, advances in green technology, etc. are just some of the topics explored by these two teachers both in and outside of the classroom. They offer our students a globally focused science classroom, thereby encouraging them to explore the implications of worldwide problems and opportunities for change. They help our Saints learn science from an interdisciplinary perspective that engages them in problem-based learning tasks and scientific investigations that are founded on real-time research and scientific literature.

The St. Thomas Aquinas High School science program is rooted in scientific inquiry, which teaches young adults how to initiate queries, design and conduct experiments, present and analyze data, interpret results, and draw conclusions- all for the purpose of circling back around to the initial inquiry and answering the question. We know that STA students are receiving the best of the best in instruction because our faculty are familiarizing themselves with all current scientific issues, participating actively in research and in forums, and then relaying their information and knowledge back to the classroom making our students active participants in concurrent scientific happenings.

Congratulations, Ms. Bartlett and Dr. Pike, on this well-deserved and hard-earned recognition by National Geographic! We are so very proud of you! Saints Pride!


To read more about Ms. Piper Bartlett’s Arctic experience, please click here.  Again, Ms. Bartlett will also be featured on WMUR’s NH Chronicle, a nightly magazine program, on January 3, 2020.

To view Dr. Sue Pike’s Capstone Project video, please click here.  Dr. Pike was also a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow in 2013 and was sent to Svalbard to circumnavigate the Spitsbergen Archipelago in search of polar bears and other arctic life.  The ice breaker she was on reached within a couple hundred miles of the North Pole.