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Meet Our Staff


Sonia Gandiaga

Executive Director


Sonia is really excited to join MSW as our Executive Director and help lead our community science workshops. She is passionate about inspiring young learners' sense of wonder and curiosity and also loves to 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 passionate about ecology, environmental education and hands-on learning, and loves all the animals in our workshops. Stop by and she'll let you hold one of our gorgeous snakes.

Bart Evans

Programs Manager + 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.


Morgan Macdonald

Mission Site Coordinator + 

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).

Laura Cano

Science Instructor

Laura is originally from Barcelona, Spain. She moved to San Francisco in April 2021. She studied Hospitality back home, so she is definitely a people person. When she got to the Bay Area, she started volunteering with a non-profit called The Book Wagon SF, whose mission is to put free books into the hands of children. That’s when she started thinking that a job in education would suit her better. She enjoys kids’ curiosity and kindness. She never thought that holding a snake could be nice, but now she loves it and wants to share it with all the kids.


When she’s not at the workshop you can find her in the swimming pool, reading a book on the couch or doing a jigsaw puzzle. She also enjoys baking and taking walks among the redwood trees. Nature brings her calm.


Natalie Boyanovsky

Development Manager

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.


Verónica Hernández

Science Instructor

Originally from Guatemala, Verónica Hernández grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from Mission High School  and attended Contra Costa Community College where she earned an associates degree in Biological Sciences. In 2012, Verónica transferred to UC Davis where she continued to study biology. However, her love for literature outweighed her desire to learn about molecular biology and she changed her major to Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Spanish Literature. Although no longer studying biology, her love for the subject persited. Verónica is passionate about mentoring youth in the sciences. In addition to working with the Mission Science Workshop, Verónica teaches at a community program in the East Bay that offers free tutoring and classes for students. Every other weekend, Verónica can be found implementing fun and thought provoking STEM lessons to middle school students. Verónica's hobbies include hiking, reading, and following the best soccer club... Real Madrid.

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Paul Ostrach

Bayview Site Coordinator +

Science Instructor

Paul grew up in Oakland before heading to UC Santa Barbara to study neuroscience and art history. After working in a science museum and then classroom, Paul moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area to serve as the coordinator and instructor for the Bayview Science Workshop. One of his favorite parts about working with kids is the contagious energy that they bring into the classroom. Paul prefers experiments that surprise students and is not afraid to get messy in the workshop.  He loves when the kids come up with new ways to complete activities that he had not previously thought of.

In addition to science, Paul enjoys camping, cooking, and basketball. Paul goes camping every year and his favorite place to go is Yosemite. At age 18 he worked as a line cook at a vegan restaurant in Oakland. In fact, his love for science may have started as a toddler in the kitchen when his scientist parents allowed him to mix random ingredients together to see what would happen. Now, Paul spends his time after work assembling ingredients into delicious combinations with a bit less randomness. His favorite hobby is watching or playing basketball. Soon he hopes to coach youth basketball in San Francisco and is an extreme Golden State Warriors fan.  


Paul is thrilled to have opened up the newest workshop location and to be able to host eager students and families for hands-on science in the Bayview. 

Devika Nair

Science Instructor

Devika was raised in Sacramento, CA and has a background in medical imaging research. She currently teaches human anatomy and physiology labs at the University of San Francisco and began volunteering with after-school programs at the Excelsior site in 2022 before joining staff as a part-time instructor at Bayview.

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Beatriz Gonzalez

Animal Care Specialist &

Teaching Assistant

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.

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