Chemistry Faculty Member Selected for Texas 10 Recognition
“I love watching the audience the second I blow something up. My favorite part is when I can do a demonstration, look out into the crowd and see smiles, laughter, or the moment where jaws drop.”
Only three years after joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kate Biberdorf has been chosen as one of this year’s Texas 10. Nominated by alumni and celebrated in the Texas Exes’ publication The Alcalde, the Texas 10 are dedicated educators who have had a profound impact on the lives of their students. Biberdorf and the other winners this year were selected from among 75 nominated campus educators.
Biberdorf, a lecturer and the director of demonstrations and outreach in the Department of Chemistry, joined the faculty after earning her PhD in chemistry from UT Austin in 2014.
Known for her intense energy, Biberdorf engages students in class using lively and often explosive demonstrations.
“Burning my hair off for my beautiful students is worth it, but also it’s for me,” Biberdorf told The Alcalde. “I love watching the audience the second I blow something up. My favorite part is when I can do a demonstration, look out into the crowd and see smiles, laughter, or the moment where jaws drop.”
Biberdorf brings this same enthusiasm to running Fun with Chemistry, an outreach program that visits tens of thousands of children and families at K-12 schools and community events to get children excited about science. The award-winning program has also become a favorite fixture at UT events like Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Explore UT, where she wows adults and children alike. Biberdorf also conducts science experiments live every month on the local news program “We Are Austin.”
More recently, Biberdorf’s work has branched beyond campus and the Central Texas area. She has collaborated on numerous occasions with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, an organization “dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves.” In April, she joined the organization for several events in conjunction with the March for Science in Washington, DC, including a high-profile panel discussion about science and policy.
Read the rest of Biberdorf’s Texas 10 profile in The Alcalde.