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Blair Lee

Blair Lee, M.S. earned Bachelor degrees in Biology and Chemistry and a Master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of California San Diego. Blair is the author of 14 books including 9 books in the critically acclaimed R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Series that The Well-Trained Mind has rated as one of the top three science programs for first through eighth grades. She has been involved in science education for over two decades, first as a college professor and secondly as a curriculum developer. When teaching at her local community college, Blair found that many of her students were lacking in basic foundational science upon entering college. She believes science can be and should be taught from the beginning of a child’s education. She began working with her son and his friends on methods of teaching science concepts usually reserved for high school or college students. The results of her research and writing are REAL Science Odyssey Courses. Over the past six years, she has broadened her scope and done extensive consulting as well as multi-discipline program development for written course materials and more recently for live and taped online classes. Blair writes concept-rich, hands-on courses that engage young people’s minds and lay a firm foundation of science concepts. She is a passionate advocate of innovative academics where the focus is on how subjects are best learned.

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Samantha Matalone Cook

Samantha Matalone Cook’s love of history extends back as far as she can remember, and was humored by her family with long road trips to see historical sites as well as the gifting of an unrestricted, continuously growing personal library. This passion continued throughout her education, extensive travel around the world, and professional work.  Samantha has a BA in Humanities, with an emphasis in Medieval History and Archaeology. An experience while working on an archaeological site in Scotland led her to combine her interests in both education and history into museum work, and she went on to receive an MAT from the George Washington Graduate School of Education and Human Development, specializing in Museum Education. As an educator, Samantha has worked with both small and large organizations to create educational programming that centers and connects the learner to concepts and skills. She was able to share her enthusiasm for history with others by working on archeological sites, as a historian for an art history website start-up, and as a history and humanities educator. She has taught in classrooms and in private workshops, mentored other educators, and worked for and with many museums, including the Smithsonian. She is also a founder and director of several makerspaces, including Curiosity Hacked, an organization that mentored kinesthetic learning with children and families around the world, where she designed and taught art and innovation from both a modern and a historical perspective. After almost three decades of experience in education, program development, and the arts, Samantha continues to teach and write lessons, projects, and curriculum that offer students a dynamic history education and an invitation to life-long learning. To Samantha, the study of History and the Humanities is essential to understanding ourselves and our society, connecting to the human condition, learning compassion and resilience, sparking curiosity and creativity, and inspiring both active citizenship and meaningful social impact.

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Lindsey Sodano

Lindsey Sodano is a writer, editor, and mom of three who lives in Mason, Ohio. She has degrees in English and education from Boston College, where she focused her studies in English on children’s literature and feminist literary criticism and her education studies on alternative forms of education such as homeschooling and gender-specific schools. After several years in the business world, Lindsey began homeschooling her oldest child with a classically-inspired eclectic approach. Lindsey has a special interest in literature-based history studies, so much so that she gave her two younger children names inspired by characters from Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Odyssey. Due to the rising cost of college education, another focus area for Lindsey is combining high school and college courses for dual credit. Lindsey and her son recently created a custom degree plan that allowed him to earn his Associate of Arts degree at age sixteen. In her spare time, she enjoys participating in community theatre, singing, playing piano and guitar, and visiting theme parks with her kids.

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