CSTA Classroom Science

Science Teachers in Love!

By Christine Hirst and Peter A'Hearn

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Photo credit- Jim Holtan Photography

If you missed the Member's Only reception at the CSTA conference in San Jose, Oct. 19, 2019, you missed a good time. But you missed something more exciting than just food, drink, camaraderie, and a chance to explore the Tech Interactive. You missed the surprise wedding of two science teachers and CSTA members, Christine Hirst and Dan Bernhardt. They are a super cute couple and also very smart and passionate science teachers. I wanted to find out more about these nerds in love and why they chose to get married at CSTA. So I thought I’d ask: 

Pete: How did you two meet?

Christine: We met at CSTA in Palm Springs a few years ago. My fellow teachers had been trying to find a cute and single teacher for me the entire weekend, and after they googled the keynote speaker and found out he was married, we determined that I was the only single person there. And then I heard Dan's laugh in a session and saw how engaged he was in what he was building. Then later we were both the only two in line to buy tickets to the "underwater robotics" competition. We met up and had to leave to find better food. We connected with a waiter over sushi who wanted to be a science teacher. Although we had just met, we both got to share why we loved what we did, and encouraged him to continue on his path. I guess you could say the rest is history! Well, technically everything is history, right? Dan was teaching in SFUSD at the time, and we did about a year and a half of distance. We have a LOT of Southwest miles! As much as we love the City, it just didn't make sense for us to both move up there, so he moved to SoCal.

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Photo Credit- Christine Hirst

Pete: I love that story! It has everything: engineering, sushi, and history.

So tell me why you wanted to get married at CSTA?

Christine: We wanted to get married at CSTA for a few reasons; obviously-we met here. Additionally, CSTA has been vitally important for us as we transition in our professional careers into new content, pedagogy, and practice. We both love to learn, and leave revitalized and motivated to change the world, one student at a time! The energy at CSTA is always infectious, and we feel like it is one of the only places where we connect with our like-minded and progressive peers. 

I thought it would be amazing to get hitched by walking down the aisle of the opening ceremony on the first day of the conference! Last year in Pasadena, we went to the CSTA booth and told them our story. We wanted Dr. Herr from CSUN, an NGSS framework author, to marry us. We didn't really tell him that but we figured he would be there. Unfortunately, it didn't work out last year, and we tied the knot with friends and family in Mexico this past summer. Since it was out of the country, technically it was not legal in the US. 

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Photo Credit- Christine Hirst

So-thanks to CSTA-our nuptials are now official! And just in case you missed it-Daniel Bernhardt, Iodine Lepton Uranium Vanadium Yttrium Oxygen Uranium to Andromeda and back!



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Peter A'Hearn

Written by Peter A'Hearn

Peter A’Hearn is a self-proclaimed science education troubadour and is the President of CASE. (2021-2023).