Meet Our Staff
Founder & Science Advsior
Dan founded Mission Science Workshop in 1991 and is responsible for its fundamental vision of reaching children from low-income areas with unique, hands-on science education. He has 24 years of experience as Director of MSW, and led the movement for founding new community science workshops nationally.
While working as a technician at City College, Dan filled his garage with circuit projects, disassembled electronics, collected rocks and animal bones, and much more. Neighborhood kids would stop by to learn from Dan's collection and thus began the concept of the "science workshop".
Today, Dan still most enjoys tinkering, experimenting and collecting-- taking apart speakers to re-use their magnets, converting radios to be solar-powered, lighting LEDs with sound waves, measuring oxygen levels in yeast experiments, and consistently developing new curriculum and exhibit ideas for the workshop.
Sonia is really excited to join MSW as our new Executive Director and help lead our community science workshops back to in-person learning. She is passionate about inspiring young learners' sense of wonder and curiosity and loves to listen and learn from our youth.
We collaborated with Sonia in the past through an organization she founded, Science in the City, which was dedicated to providing bilingual science experiences to after school students in San Francisco. Sonia also has strong background in organizing with Latinx families and communities, and working within SFUSD where she is a proud parent in a local elementary and middle school.
She is originally from Valencia, Spain but has lived in the Boston area where she worked at a really cool fish robotics lab, and also Florida where she went to grad school to study Environmental Sciences and invasive plants of the Everglades National Park. She loves all the animals in our workshops and show how awesome amphibians and reptiles are. Stop by and maybe she'll let you hold one of our gorgeous snakes and show you our amazing skeleton and fossil collection.
Program Captain + Science Instructor
Bart studied community studies and Latino/a & Latin American Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and has since worked in education and advocacy with farmworkers across California, North Carolina and Oaxaca, Mexico. He previously taught at the Watsonville Community Science Workshop, and Community Science Workshop Network, before joining the MSW team in 2016. Bart currently coordinates the Excelsior programs and leads curriculum development efforts. He enjoys bicycling all around San Francisco, helping middle schoolers build strange contraptions and introducing his two young boys to all the animals housed at the workshops.
Development Manager + Science Instructor
Natalie hails from Pittsburgh, PA with degrees in neuroscience and philosophy. While working at a local SF public school, she learned about MSW from her students and wandered in after seeing the grey whale skeleton in the window -- leading her to joining staff in 2017. Now, at MSW, Natalie most enjoys teaching owl pellet dissections, leaf chromatography, and hanging out with our Russian tortoise, Shelly-- as well as leading development efforts like fundraising, media, and events.
Space Captain + Science Instructor
Morgan is a San Francisco native who has worked as a public school science teacher and educator in both Oakland and San Francisco for the past 10 years. He loves building new things for the workshop and walking around with a snake around his neck. As "Space Captain" Morgan works to create, maintain, and organize the interactive exhibits in the workshop (and fight off evil space mutants from the planet Xan'Cath).
Animal Care Specialist &
Beatriz is our Animal Care Specialist and Bilingual Teaching Assistant. She is the most veteran employee of Mission Science Workshop. Beatriz has been part of the MSW family for over 12 years! She is originally from Peru where she studied Business Administration and worked in a Medical Research Lab.
She loves to support our students and teachers and loves all our animals. When she started working at the workshop, she was scared of our snakes -- but over the years she has learned to love and appreciate them and loves to show others how friendly snakes can be. If you stop by our workshops she can introduce you to Prince (pictured with her), one of our resident Guinea Pigs if you are not ready to hold a snake quite yet.
Director's Assistant, Technology & Facilities Specialist
A current Junior at LeHigh University in Bethlehem, PA, Santiago has been part of the MSW community since visiting the workshop in fifth grade on a field trip. Santiago appreciated the out-of-the-box thinking and being able to be hands-on with the exhibits at the workshop, including (to his memory) solar-powered race cars, clay sculptures, and wooden scooters. In early high school, Santiago joined the team as an intern and has been handling special projects across the organization in support of its mission ever since.