David Heil, President, is known as an innovative science educator, new enterprise developer, lecturer, author and host of the Emmy Award-winning PBS science series Newton’s Apple. He was the lead author of the award-winning elementary science curriculumDiscover the Wonder, editor of the popular bookFamily Science, and co-authored Family Engineering: An Activity & Event Planning Guide. More recently, he co-developed SEEDS Supporting Early Engagement and Development in STEM for PreK learners and their care-givers. Prior to establishing his consulting business in science education, evaluation, and non-profit business planning and development in 1996, David was affiliated with the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry for 13 years, serving as Associate Director from 1988–1996. While at OMSI, David initiated and administered many of the museum’s nationally recognized education and outreach programs and developed hands-on exhibits for national tour. David has also taught science and enrichment programs in grades 7-12, conducted research in plant biochemistry and radiochemistry, and worked for five years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is a past member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Committee on Public Understanding of Science, is the past Director of Informal Science Education for the National Science Teachers Association, served on the Board of Directors of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study and the Keystone Center. Currently he serves as Treasurer and is a Founding Board member of the Aspen Science Center.
Anna Voelker, Executive Director. Prior to joining the ASC in 2021, Anna was the founding Executive Director of SciAccess, an international initiative created after receiving the prestigious 2018 Ohio State University President’s Prize. SciAccess, now affiliated with the ASC, is dedicated to advancing disability inclusion in STEM and hosts an annual conference, as well as Mission: AstroAccess, a project that aims to pave the way for disabled space explorers. While completing a BS in Science Communication & Accessibility with a minor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Anna specialized in accessible science outreach for diverse learners and has worked extensively with blind and low vision students using 3D printing, data sonification, and other multi-sensory educational approaches. Anna is passionate about making science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) accessible to all. In May 2021, Anna hosted a live NASA event where astronauts on the International Space Station answered questions from students with disabilities. As a 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow, Anna worked at the Aerospace Corporation. Anna has also worked at NASA Kennedy, NASA Goddard, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development, as well as coordinating outreach programming for Ohio State University’s Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics.
Annie Bell, ASC Educator, has enjoyed working with children in the Roaring Fork Valley for many years. For the past 3 years she has worked in the Roaring Fork School District’s Early Childhood Program and is currently at Crystal River Elementary School. Prior to joining the RFSD she owned and operated Spring Valley Child Care, caring for children from 2 months to 12 years of age. She has also served as Program Manager for Beyond the Bell’s after-school enrichment and Summer Camp programs and has been an instructor for the Glenwood Springs Center the Arts, the Carbondale Council for the Arts & Humanities, the Professional Photography Program at Colorado Mountain College, and as a workshop assistant in the Summer Photography Program at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. When she is not teaching, she enjoys digital marketing, web design, and analytics. Annie received a BFA in Photography, Film and Animation, from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She lives in Spring Valley, outside of Glenwood Springs, with her husband and 2 daughters.
Katie Jo Frank, ASC Educator, is a passionate educator dedicated to providing high quality STEM education to youth in the Roaring Fork Valley and currently teaches fourth grade at Glenwood Springs Elementary. Prior to this, she taught 6th grade computer science, STEAM, robotics, and facilitated the Gifted and Talented program at Denver School of Science and Technology. Prior to teaching at DSST, Katie taught and developed curriculum for grades 3-8 for OpenWorld Learning, a Denver-area non-profit. Her specialty is using creativity and research-based strategies to create rigorous, innovative and engaging project-based programs that promote problem solving, imagination and design-oriented thinking. Katie earned a BFA from Colorado State University with a concentration in graphic design and following graduation spent 8 years in Aspen working for the Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News as a Web/IT Manager. Today she still does freelance graphic design work, living in Glenwood Springs and spending as much of her free time as possible mountain biking, crafting, and creating.
2021 ASC Intern-Educators
Schuyler Moss graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2020 with a BS in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. In the Fall of 2021, she will be pursuing a PhD at the University of Waterloo in Canada studying computational quantum physics and doing research utilizing machine learning techniques to explore topics related to quantum computing. Prior to joining the ASC, Schuyler volunteered with Girls Talk Math, a day camp for high school students from underserved schools, and as a Program Coordinator for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES) another day camp for 4th-6th grade girls.
Hailey Higdon is a sophomore at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she is majoring in Astronomy with an Astrophysics track, and minoring in Spanish. Growing up in the Aspen area, she was a member of the Read With Me Club for two years, helping Aspen Middle School students improve their reading fluency. She likes learning all areas of science, but especially Astronomy and Physics, and enjoys helping others learn about science and how the world works. Prior to joining the ASC, she worked for the Aspen Ski Company teaching young children to ski, and for several years was the Mascot for Snowmass Village!
Connor Hoffman will be a junior at Basalt High School and has been actively participating in ASC programs for years, including serving as an Intern-Educator in 2018 and 2019. Since 4th grade he has participated in the Basalt Middle School FIRST Lego League Robotics, and most recently has been serving as a coach. At the age of 13 he wrote a program for the alpine coaster on Snowmass Mountain to help regulate speed, and in 2020 he and his father designed and built an electric snowmobile for the Aspen Skiing Company.
Evelyn Stefli will be a junior at Aspen High School, where she has studied a range of STEM topics including environmental science and biology but is especially passionate about physics! Active with robotics during Middle School, she would like to pursue a career in astrophysics or aeronautical engineering. Another one of her passions is figure skating. During the school year she is a skating instructor for children aged 4-12 and is currently a Junior Coach! Evelyn is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Kara Van Alstine will be a senior at Aspen High School, where her favorite science topic is physics, especially Astronomy and Meteorology. For two summers in a row she attended French learning camps – one at the Lycee in Chicago and one in Montpellier, France. Prior to joining the ASC, in 2017 Kara was a counselor at the Art Base in Basalt where she helped implement camp themes around fashion, photography, and Harry Potter!