• Science

    syringe experiment

    Vision: All students realize that Science and Engineering aren't finished yet, and they see themselves as scientists for whom there are real problems to solve.

    Mission: To effect systemic and systematic change in Portland Public School’s science and engineering education through research-based, iterative, design-cycles focused on teaching students, supporting teachers, and engaging the community.

    Why is science education important? As children grow up in an increasingly technologically and scientifically advanced world, they need to be scientifically literate to succeed. We are surrounded by technology and the products of science every day. Public policy decisions that affect every aspect of our lives are based in scientific evidence. The immensely complex natural world surrounds us. Science is everywhere. Outside the window, trees turn sunlight into stored energy and create the oxygen we need to survive. Water from glaciers on top of Mt Hood melt and create rivers that flow to the sea. The smartphone in the student’s hand is a miracle of modern computer engineering and wave technology. PPS Science connects students to the science of the world around them by having students explain phenomena that they can see and observe. Science teaches children how to think, learn, solve problems and make informed decisions. These skills are integral to every aspect of a student’s education and life, from school to career. 

    Resource Website for PPS Science Teachers


  • Dr. Susan Holveck's Bio

    Dr. Holveck was born in Texas and lived in seven different states and Bermuda before settling in Oregon, a state that she loves! She attended Ohio State University where she received a Bachelors of Science in Genetics while working at McPherson General Chemistry Labs. After graduation, she worked at Battelle Memorial Labs testing toxins and carcinogens for the FDA. Next, she decided to pursue her Masters of Science in Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology at Washington State University. After graduate school, she moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked in the research labs at Shriners Hospital making monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Holveck then moved to Ithaca, New York. While she was there she challenged herself to do a variety of different things. She became the director of a drop-in children’s daycare center for low income families, founded a sewing cooperative for low Income women called Sew Together, created a children’s sewing business called Sew Big, and had a baking business called Fantaflon and Tarts.

    After returning to Oregon, Dr. Holveck volunteered in her children’s elementary school. Seeing the possibilities of being more involved in her children’s school, she became an instructional aid. Upon the advice of her principal she entered a fast track licensing program at Pacific University and received her MAT.

    Dr. Holveck then began working as a 7th grade science teacher at Conestoga Middle School for the Beaverton School District. After 8 years in this position, Dr. Holveck moved to the Summa program, which is the program for highly gifted middle school students in BSD. She developed the science program for Summa. Five years into teaching at Summa, Dr. Holveck decided to enroll in the Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership Doctoral program at University of Oregon. She continued to teach middle school science at Summa and work on her doctorate and administrative license. She then went on to become the district science specialist for 8 years. During that time she restructured the high school science program into a Physics First single science sequence. Currently 50% of Oregon high school students are taking this sequence. Dr. Holveck came to PPS in 2019 to work as the Science Program Administrator where she is excited to be leading an amazing science team. In her private life, Dr. Holveck is the Chairman of the Board of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and the Secretary of the Oregon Science Teachers Association. She enjoys gardening and going to the Oregon Coast whenever she can.

Science Contacts

Dr. Susan Holveck
Program Administrator for Science
sholveck@pps.net
Jennifer Scherzinger
Elementary Science TOSA
jscherzinger@pps.net
Geoff Stonecipher
Elementary Science TOSA
gstoneci@pps.net
Dr. Jennifer Mayo
K-8 Science TOSA
jmayo@pps.net
Dr. Andrea Leech
High School Science TOSA
aleech@pps.net
Kate Yocum
STEAM/ESL TOSA
kyocum@pps.net