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Meet Our Instructors

Our instructors have diverse backgrounds ranging from computer science and robotics, to physics and astronomy, to biology and paleontology.
But what do they have in common? A passion for teaching and inspiring kids!

Our most consistent feedback from parents is how knowledgeable and passionate our staff is.

Because the success of our programs depends on our staff, each instructor is hired personally by the owners, completing an essay application, reference checks, in-person interview, and full background check.

Introducing... the team that will inspire their inner scientist, engineer or curious mind!



Curriculum Director and Instructor

Vicky is an experienced grade school teacher from the UK, having gained her Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Cambridge. With a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science and Master's in Geography, her focus is on interdisciplinary, applied sciences, and sustainability. She is passionate about developing students’ critical-thinking skills, confidence, and independence, with a sweet spot for encouraging girls in STEM!


Astrophysics Instructor

Josue holds a Degree in Physics from Cal Poly Pomona. He has been a 6-8 grade science teacher and currently works as the Science Coordinator for a local middle school science program. Before joining the STEM World team, he developed techniques from tutoring that help him properly convey abstract concepts in science and math in a clear, concise manner. He understands that math and physics aren’t everyone’s favorite, which is why he strives to make learning fun and engaging for his students.



Math Instructor

Karine is currently working towards her master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at California State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from UC Riverside. Her passion is teaching and she loves to bring new and fun ideas to the classroom. As a teaching associate, she taught various Math courses and labs at Cal State Northridge. She currently also teaches science to middle schoolers at a local private school in Pasadena.


Robotics & Coding Instructor

Dave is our lead robotics and coding instructor. He is a Navy veteran of 10 years, where he served as a Machinist and Corpsman on board USS Kitty Hawk. Afterward, he studied Computer Science and worked as a Systems and Network administrator and lead in the Research and Development team for the City of Los Angeles. Dave’s dream is to create robotic prosthetics to help disabled people.



Dustin has 14 years of experience as an instructor. He is an expert in science demonstrations, workshops, and camps. He believes that learning should be fun and he makes sure that his classes are both informative and exciting. He uses his passion and creativity in creating new curriculum for science camps. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Northridge. He serves as STEM World's lead instructor in both the STEMagic Academy, as well as our STEM Shows "producer."


Paleo Instructor

Grayson is 3rd generation paleontologist and a graduate of the UC Santa Barbara, where he earned a Degree in Paleobiology.  He has over 25 years of experience with exotic reptiles, as well as extensive experience as an Animal Curator, Reptile Specialist, Veterinary Clinic Technician, Academy Instructor, and Senior Education Specialist. He has over two decades of hands-on experience educating children.  In 2012, Grayson also started the Rock & Roll Reptiles Mobile Museum of Zoology, Paleontology, & Natural History.



Kara has a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University. Since graduating, Kara has taught STEM subjects in multiple grade levels both inside and outside the classroom. She is currently the K-5 "STEM specialist" at a charter school in the Los Angeles area. Kara is passionate about student learning in robotics and coding, and aims to create a safe space for students to feel empowered to question, explore, create, and innovate. She believes that STEM is for everyone, and is committed to guiding students in their lifelong journey to learn.



Melissa has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Melissa has worked as an educator in multiple settings for the last 6 years. She has taught in New York City, Hawaii, and her most recent experience was in Bangkok, Thailand. Her diverse experience in and out of the classroom has given her a well rounded perspective of education. Melissa believes that the STEM approach to education is a terrific avenue to better understand scientific content and develop critical thinking skills and innovation.


Lead Cinema Instructor

Mariya is a Director, Screenwriter and Producer.  She has worked in Theater productions (Open Space Theater) and as a Journalist (Ren Tv, TNT, NTV) in Russia.  Mariya directed Women In Film PSA for the charity “A New Way of Life” that won the Gold Aurora Award, 2017. She has two narrative films and a feature documentary in the festival circuit.  She was also nominated in the Best Director category for “Danny Danielle” movie at the 48 Film Project festival in 2018. Mariya’s teaching experience includes Directing Workshop at Rough Cut Film Festival and writing mentorship at Young Storytellers program.


Cinema Instructor

Jhosimar Vasquez was born in Cusco, Peru, but spent much of his youth in Mexico City. He attended New York Film Academy and has achieved over 80 awards, including best director and best film of the year for his work on short films. He is currently working on his first feature film and a second for 2020. Jhosimar now lives in Los Angeles making Award-winning films that tell the stories of people with imperfect lives. You can watch his latest films on Amazon Prime and Direct TV.


Multimedia Tech

Sam is a student from the APP Academy at Pasadena High School (PHS).  He has been involved in robotics since he received his first LEGO Mindstorms kit at the age of 10. He won an Honorable Mention in the 2016 LA County Science Fair for his Robotic Service Dog. Sam has spent many hours volunteering in the community as a Sierra Madre Historical Society Docent, Photography Volunteer at the Pasadena Humane Society, and instruction aide at G3 Martial Arts Academy. He currently works both at STEM World and the YMCA, and enjoys helping kids with programming and the fundamentals of robotics.

Meet Our Advisors


Education Specialist and Consultant

Sylvia has been an education specialist in the Montebello Unified School District for over 22 years. She is passionate about teaching and meeting the needs of all students. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State Los Angeles and a Master’s Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University.  She regularly trains teachers in the areas of Curriculum & Instruction, Special Education, and Assessment & Data. Sylvia also provides expertise in pedagogy and curriculum for grades K-12.


Teacher and Consultant

Jack has been a teacher in the Pasadena area for over 20 years. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Azusa Pacific University and has taught K-12 students in both public and private school environments. His most recent assignment was at John Muir Elementary School in Glendale as a language and behavioral interventionist.
Jack continues to work for both the Pasadena and Glendale Unified School Districts as a teacher for elementary, middle and high school students.


Curriculum Advisor

Lea earned a Master’s Degree in STEM Education from the University of Texas, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Math and Science Education. She has many years' experience in teaching and developing curricula. Notably, her curricula has won awards for robotics. Lea helped advise STEM World on the development of world-class STEM curricula for our camps and workshops.