Education Influencer: Tristan Gandolfi


We’d love to introduce you to a dear friend and colleague of ours, Tristan. She has been a huge source of entrepreneurial encouragement and holds a plethora of teaching experience! When we pitched the concept of putting the art in STEM to her, she immediately caught the vision. Thank you Tristan for being a fellow #girlboss and helping us spread the word about STEAM education!

Q: What is your education and professional background?

A: Educational Background: Rural Illlinois public schools k-12. No STEM but tons of fishing and cow tipping. Went to ASU for undergrad. Double majored in fine arts and communictaion. Masters in Education. 

Professional: Took a teaching position in college at a magnet, title-1, performing arts school. Loved the kids and was fired up about education inequity. Joined Teach For America after undergrad. Taught for 5 years until I moved back to AZ. Worked for an AZ start up and learned so much about forming a company. Launched Humor Writes. Contarcted with SEED SPOT. Joined the team fulltime. 

Q: What did you want to become when you were young?

A: Thanks to Puppy Surprise, a vet. 

Q: How was your connection with Megan made?

A: Through my teacher at SEED SPOT. Megan was going through the evening program and we had a ton of overlap. 

Q: Why is STEM education important?

A: Technology is changing the way we think, interact and learn. STEM allows students to be part of the changing world. 

Q: What impact could stARTem make for students and/or teachers?

A: I really see it as a cross-curriculuar no=-brainer. Art is everywhere and in everything! stARTem is breathing life into content that often dissengages students. 

Q: What do you think the STEM workforce could look like 5 years from now?

A: Hopefully filled with students of stARTem. 

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: So many conversations regarding education do not include the students. stARTem has the unique abilty to ispire students, teachers and administators in a way most currciulums cant imagine. 

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