Natural Science Instructor
Health Center 208
Julie Olson started teaching for Southeast Technical College in 2021 as the Natural Sciences instructor, teaching courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science and Physics. Julie has been an educator since 1988, most recently at Mitchell High School and Mitchell Second Chance High School in Mitchell from 1992-2021 where she taught scientific research methods, College Prep Chemistry, Environmental Science, Biology and dual-credit Biology.
While teaching for the district’s alternative school, she developed a self-paced, individualized science curriculum for at-risk students to include both required courses as well as electives ranging from Forensics to Drones. In addition to her work at the 9-12 level, Ms. Olson was an adjunct professor for Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell (1988-2019), and has taught Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology and Science Methods for Secondary Teachers as well as mentoring pre-service teachers.
She is very active professionally at the local, state and national levels. She was a member of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) national writing team. Additional engagement includes involvement with the NGSS Evidence Statements and mapping of the NGSS across the grade bands. She helped write and translate the current South Dakota state science standards. She has led numerous professional development opportunities for her district and SDSTA association on NGSS, STEM and technology. She is co-editor for the newsletter and past-President of the South Dakota Science Teachers Association, is on the Science Advisory Council (SD DOE) and EPSCoR Advisory Board. Nationally, she was on the National Academies of Science Teacher Advisory Council, is a CDC Fellow, and is an NSTA/NCTM STEM Ambassador. She was named a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow (2021) from National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions after receiving her National Geographic Educator certification. Julie is a Fulbright ESD Japan awardee (2018) also obtaining her Global Studies Certification from IREX (2019). She has presented internationally for the United Arab Emirates American schools on the structure and assessment of the NGSS. While a Sanford Educator Research Fellow, she developed an ELISA simulation and lab activity that was published in The Science Teacher (2017).
Among her honors and awards, Ms. Olson is a National Association of Biology Teachers’ Outstanding Biology Teacher for South Dakota (2006), Varkey Top 50 Global Teacher Prize and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (2007). NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) presented her with Robert E. Yager Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (2016) and Shell Science Lab Challenge District award (2020).
- University of South Dakota, Bachelor of Science in Biology
- University of South Dakota, Master of Arts in Biology