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The Work We Do: Judy Isbitiren, Long Island Science Center

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My name is Judy Isbitiren. I am the program director and full time educator for the Long Island Science Center.

We’re located here in downtown Riverhead.

We have all different areas of science that we work with here: physical science, earth science. We work with students anywhere from preschool on up to high school age.

It’s a great place for kids to come and enjoy, have some fun but they’re learning at the same time, so it’s exciting.

I typically schedule and teach most of the programs. We also have educators who do programming out in the community at local schools, libraries and organizations.

We can travel with every program. We’ve traveled the entire island from Forest Hills to Fishers Island.

When I arrive in the morning, I usually come in, check my emails, get back to people who have left messages regarding programming.

If there’s a program coming in that I am scheduled to teach, I prepare, grab the program materials, head out into the classroom area and start prepping and getting ready for the day.

As students arrive, we greet them. They’ll come in, we usually do a quick lesson or introduction into the subject matter. Then we begin with either the experiment portion of the day or whatever activity is related to the subject that they’re studying for the day.

I started off actually in bilingual education.

I came here in the early 2000s and I love it. It’s exciting and I started to work with the education staff that was here, learning the programming, learning the sciences and getting to work with the students. 

It became something that I got really passionate about. And it just really changed my life.

The best part is being able to teach in a fun, interactive way. We get to see the moments when the connection is made through hands-on activities, hands-on play.

Watching the kids make connections…I mean, we’re teaching physics to preschool students. It’s pretty exciting when you can see a young child grasp the concept of forces and motion and energy.

I think we’re pretty lucky that we get to do what we do here.

“The Work We Do” is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers around Riverhead Town.