Founder of iResearch Corporation
Serena has dedicated her life to the advancement of science and to science education with the nation’s most promising youth. Dr. Serena McCalla was raised in New York City, and fell in love with science as an elementary school student. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences/African American and African studies from State University of New York, at Binghamton University with the intention of becoming an ER physician. However, she quickly realized she was more inspired by research than medicine. To satisfy her craving for deeper information, Dr. Serena McCalla earned a MS degree in Hematology/Microbiology, a PhD that explored the use of diagnostic tests to improve the understanding of genetics, photosynthesis, and respiration in secondary and collegiate courses. Read More >
Educating Future Scientist
Science Fair Trailer
On Science Fair and Helping Shape Young Scientific Minds
Defining Your Own Future
On CBS New York
Great teachers do a lot more than give exams and homework; they seek to inspire, influence, motivate, ask questions and challenge their students. Dr. Serena McCalla became a scientist and a teacher by following her passions and fostering her own curiosity about the world around her, and she strives to do the same for her students. In this keynote, Dr. McCalla shares how running 21st century classrooms and drawing on the wealth of technology and knowledge accessibility of our modern era can help to ignite the spark in students interested in pursuing the opportunities presented by science today. Most of all, she encourages teachers to facilitate and guide students towards dreaming about what might become possible tomorrow.
Dr. Serena McCalla originally studied to be an ER doctor and then a researcher. So how did she find her true calling, as a science research teacher? By leading with inspiration, intuition and passion! Serena discusses how she refused to limit herself or her students and knew that her best investments in life would be spent fulfilling her dreams in science. As a leader and role model for students, educators and professionals in STEM and beyond, Dr. McCalla is regularly asked how she maintains her success and electrifying energy for her career. Her approach is simple- the 5 P’s: Passion, Patience, Purpose, Perseverance and Prioritization.
Dr. Serena McCalla recognized early on that science was suffering from a bad reputation amongst students, who thought the subject was difficult, boring, or inaccessible. However, Serena knew it did not have to be any of those things, if taught innovatively. Sharing lessons learned while working at Jericho High School on Long Island, Dr. McCalla brings audiences on the journey of how she catapulted their science research program into one of the preeminent curriculum models around. She was recognized in the Disney ® National Geographic film, Science Fair. She believes the best science research programs must establish the importance of asking questions and encouraging young adults to follow their passions and achieve goals others deem impossible. Serena’s record shows that she has the secret sauce for making science equal parts fun, challenging and edifying for students.
STEM fields are expanding rapidly as our world becomes more and more driven by the incredible capacities of technology. With science continually on the forefront of innovation, it has become crucial for diverse groups of people to feel included in what was historically a privileged and male-dominated field. Dr. Serena McCalla started the iResearch Institute to break down the barriers of access for children, especially girls, who want to get involved in science. Taking pride in being a “new” role model for little girls who could see themselves in her, Serena knows that our entire society stands to benefit when diverse perspectives have a seat at the table, and so she continues to fight for diversity and equity in the STEM universe!
"Dr. McCalla made me rethink some of the things that I do with students. I am looking into creating a mentor program in my school."
"…hearing and meeting Dr. McCalla after seeing her in Science Fair was a rockstar moment! Her passionate and informative talk, and her ability to communicate to young and older students/parents was priceless."