Educator Spotlight: Nikki Malhotra

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Nikki Malhotra, a teacher at Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks, California, about her experiences using LabXchange. Dr. Malhotra holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, and spent time working as a research scientist and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. When she decided she wanted to reach younger students, she began teaching high school.

Dr. Malhotra now teaches AP Research, Biology Honors, and Biology CP, and also participates in the Amgen Biotech Experience. “I get bored easily with old-fashioned stuff, so I’m always finding new things,” she told us. A parent who works at Amgen introduced her to LabXchange, and she now uses it all the time. “It prepares my students much better.”

We spoke about the frustration many teachers feel when looking for high quality yet affordable digital resources. “Most simulations are really expensive, and I felt really helpless because these resources weren’t available to me. I would have to pass up resources because my school couldn’t afford the licenses.” As a free platform that offers lab simulations and many other resources, Dr. Malhotra was able to incorporate it into her teaching. “Giving kids an understanding of concepts, how a real scientist works, what kind of things they will face when they do a protocol,” she said, “it’s amazing.”

In mid-April, we checked back in with Dr. Malhotra to see how the transition to remote learning was treating her and her students. She told us that she was teaching online, using LabXchange animations and other virtual resources for her biology and physiology curricula. “I appreciate your support and love the LabXchange virtual system.”

Dr. Malhotra, thank you for speaking with us and sharing your insights! We wish you and all teachers worldwide the best of luck as you navigate the current challenges of remote teaching and learning.

Educator Nikki Malhotra poses for a group photo with ten female students at Thousand Oaks High School.

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