Animals, Carousels, Making Lava: It’s All in a Day’s Work for Nicole Powell

Posted by Monica Hoel
Nicole Powell hasn’t let the pandemic put an end to her enthusiasm about teaching science to kids.

She’s a science educator at the Greensboro Science Center, and she gets to do a little bit of everything. No. Really.

Before the pandemic shut down she was leading penguin encounters, and narrating shark diving events. She learned a lot about animals from early work at a couple of zoos prior to this job, so her skills in animal care are now keeping her busy with the Science Center’s zoo animals as well – which isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. She’s doing videos to teach kids about chemistry. And when nothing else is happening, she may even find herself cleaning the carousel.

That seems to be part of Nicole’s success; she is not daunted or intimidated or averse to any job that is put in front of her. And she admits that, right now, as employment around the world has gotten complicated and tenuous, her breadth of work experience and willingness to do what is necessary is serving her well in terms of job security.

The other thing that is offering her some security is her college degree. Her boss has given her the indication that her education keeps her on the list of employees he plans to keep around because she has a background in biology and chemistry, and she’s a willing learner when new challenges come along.

Whether the topic is the importance of zoos, the necessity of conservation, or the favorite toys of an African penguin, it only takes a few minutes with Nicole to catch her excitement for all things in nature and science. It makes her the absolute perfect person to be teaching young people about the natural world – whether or not it’s business as usual.

  • Nicole Powell, E&H Class of 2016, brings her experience working at zoos to her work at the Greensboro Science Center.

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