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.
Jason Winokur, Director of Operations & Programs, holds degrees in both physics and mathematics and his career has spanned the intersection of scientific research and education. Before joining the ASC, Mr. Winokur was engaged in climate change-related research for 7 years at the University of Colorado Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research where he was also was extensively engaged in the university’s outreach education program pairing middle and high-school students with research scientists. He has also conducted research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and held research assistantships funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the NASA/Colorado Space Grant Consortium. Prior to his research career, he developed and taught science and math in Denver, and later taught at high schools in the Roaring Fork Valley. Mr. Winokur also has experience as a professional brewer, and ski school instructor. He is an avid snowboarder, trail runner, craft beer enthusiast, and enjoys exploring the science of cooking! Jason lives in Carbondale with his wife, two children, and their dog.
Rachael DeGraffenried, Administrative Assistant, brings years of non-profit and administrative experience to the Aspen Science Center. She obtained a BS degree in Business Management with minors in International Studies and Entrepreneurship from the University of Wyoming. After college, she fed her desire to help others and travel by doing humanitarian work with local nonprofits in 11 different countries in Southeast Asia, Southern African and Eastern Europe. Back in her home state of Colorado, her administrative and event-planning skills were expanded through her work with a fitness-based elementary school fundraising organization. Rachael met and married her husband in Colorado, and then they promptly moved to Seattle, Washington, where she worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for Outdoors for All. In this role she recruited and managed over 700 volunteers and aided with development efforts such as the annual auction, all in support of the organization’s outdoor recreation programs for people with disabilities. Finally, she rounded out her experience in education, teaching English, Social Studies and French to middle and high school students. She eagerly brings her administrative, development, and teaching experience to the world of science education and discovery at the ASC. When she isn’t making lists or geeking out over Excel spreadsheets for the ASC, she enjoys re-reading Jane Austen novels, baking cakes from recipes off the Great British Baking Show, and swimming at the local rec center in Glenwood Springs where she now resides.
Annie Bell, ASC Contract 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 Contract 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.