Kimberly Hermans headshot

Kimberly Hermans

Science Communication Fellow
Computer Science Teacher/Research Analyst
Woodbridge High School/University of California, Irvine

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I teach computer science at the high school level. Currently, I teach AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, and Computer Science Data Structures. I am active in the AP community, serving as an AP Mentor for new and experienced AP Computer Science teachers, an AP Consultant, instructing at AP Summer Institutes for AP Computer Science A, and an AP Reader for AP Computer Science A. I am also a facilitator for the Community College Working Group for Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP), a national alliance for states working towards broadening participation in computing and expanding computing education in our alliance states. I also teach courses for preservice and in-service teachers looking to add the Computer Science supplemental authorization to their California teaching credential.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I have always been interested in computers and programming from the moment I made my first website. I took a programming course in high school, and for me everything clicked. I studied computer science in college and when I realized working in the software industry may not be for me, I found inspiration in my volunteer job tutoring at an after-school program for at-risk students. I got into teaching shortly after that, and have enjoyed that my career allows me time to explore my other interests and hobbies.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My dad has influenced and encouraged me the most. He has always emphasized that education is important. He worked as an engineer, so he was also interested in computers and technology, and without him, I wouldn't have been exposed to computers and programming at such a young age. Our family was one of the first families I knew that had a computer and access to the Internet. He continues to be my biggest cheerleader.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

I think the most fascinating part of my job is seeing my student's problem solve and learn new things. It's a rewarding feeling for all of us when they make progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. I am fascinated by the learning process in general, and it keeps me trying new things in the classroom.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

I have varied interests outside of my job as a computer science teacher. I love observing marine life, and I am an avid SCUBA diver. I am certified as an Open Water SCUBA Instructor. As a hobby, I also co-host two weekly podcasts with another computer science teacher friend, and we cover reality TV show relationships.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Information & Computer Science - University of California, Irvine 2003; Masters of Science in Secondary Education - California State University, Fullerton 2012; Masters of Science in Computer Science - California State University, Fullerton 2014; National Board Certification in Career and Technical Education Information Systems and Technology, Communications, and the Arts 2022; Emergency First Responder/CPR Instructor 2017; Single Subject in Mathematics with an authorization in Computer Science and Computer Concepts & Applications 2004

What are your hobbies?

I love riding my bike by the beach, diving, wine tasting, making things with my Cricut, podcasting, traveling, and baking. I won first place at the county fair last year for my peanut brittle.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

The advice that I would give to someone who wants to have a career like mine is to keep an open mind, have varied interests, always be eager to learn new things, and to try everything. All of the things that I feel really define me started off as a curiosity. That curiosity would grow into my passion for learning everything about it, and I would follow through and try new things or apply for unique opportunities that would further my expertise and interest in my hobbies.

How did you get involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust?

I applied for this program because I had heard of it years ago when I was an Einstein Fellow working at the National Science Foundation. I had met a couple of people who had participated on an expedition team in the past, and they thought I would be interested in a program like this, and they were right. This combines my professional and personal interests, and is an amazing opportunity for me to show others that computer science really is everywhere.


Kimberly participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: