Fellow Profile: Zach Dean

Zach Dean
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2011-12
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
  • Teacher Partner: Ginger Ververelli
  • School: Tucson High Magnet School
  • Grade level: 9-12
  • Topics: Algebra I and College Algebra

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - John Wooden

John Wooden was full of great quotes; however, this particular quote shows that in everything you do you never stop learning. While we sometimes look at work as something negative it is important to realize that we always get something out of it. Even when we make a mistake we can learn what NOT to do.

Research Interests

Zach Dean is a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona. His research interests are in the area of cancer, wound healing, biomedical device design, and micro- and nano- technology. Zach has received his bachelors degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Arizona and masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Arizona.

Classroom Activities

Zach is teaching at Tucson High Magnet School with Ginger Ververelli, the school's math department head. Zach’s goals for his classroom involvement include:

Lessons Learned

Working with students at Tucson High and observing Mrs. Ververelli has greatly improved my ability to communicate mathematical ideas as well as improve my ability to hold the attention of a group. Previously, much of my teaching was done in a laboratory setting, so learning to make lessons interesting and different has been a big focus of my time at Tucson High.

In addition, teaching high schoolers is very different than teaching middle schoolers like I did last year. I've therefore shifted the focus of my lessons toward more career-goal type lessons. I also want to get the students thinking about finances more, which has involved a stock market activity in the classroom; the students are given fake money and told to invest it in stocks. A little-known way to invest is to put your money in the Wilshire 5000, which is analogous to investing your money in the entire stock market at once. This is a much less-risky investment than investing in just one or a few companies because (regardless of our recent hard financial times) the stock market almost always goes up in the long run.

Teaching Materials