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About the MC

Over the past 10 years, the Shodor Education Foundation has accomplished a lot. If you look on our website,, you can find dozens upon dozens of tools and lesson plans. We have over 100 applets geared towards an educational setting, demonstrating and explaining topics in math and science.

Our founder, Dr Robert Panoff, started the Shodor Education Foundation in 1994. During the past decade, Shodor has gone from a 1-man operation to a well-known organization whose website receives over 1 million unique hits per month during the school year.

So, how has Shodor gotten here? Interns. Lots and lots of interns. During the school year, there are never more than a couple of us in the office on a given day, because we’re all in school. Some of us are in college, while many others are in high school. Our funding comes from eucational grants from places like the National Science Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. One of the stipulations of those grants is that Shodor hire undergraduates to perform educational research and development of curriculum materials, applets, lesson plans, leading workshops, and more.

To facilitate the intern hiring requirements, Dr Panoff started a program at Shodor called the Mentor Center. The idea of the Mentor Center is to team undergraduates with a full-time staff scientist as their mentor. Each of the staff members has a different role here at Shodor. One of the mentors is in charge of Project Interactivate, while another almost exclusively programs in Java. Another staff member’s main project is converting the extant workshops into lessons that can be taught to deaf and hearing-impaired students, while another is our network systems adminstrator.

A majority of the work accomplished at Shodor since its inception has been done by the interns. During the summer, in addition to the intern ranks growing, we hold 8 week-long, half-day workshops covering such diverse topics as forensics, engineering, and environmental science, among others. At the end of the summer is the capstone, the Shodor Scholars Program. SSP is a 3 week, full-day workshop for high-school students, covering in much more detail several scientific areas, in preparation for them to become interns over the next couple years.

Many of our current interns have taken workshops in the past, and show a great aptitude towards math and science. A couple of the interns this summer have been involved in designing graphics for the workshops we offer, and improvements to different areas of the Shodor main site. Other interns taught classes, edited lesson plans, and wrote new applets. You can see most of what individual interns have been working on this summer by heading to the interns page.