For Sylvia, bringing biology to life for her students is easy—after all, they are studying living things! As a biology teacher, she focuses on “getting the story out” to her students and watching God reveal to them the wonder of what they are studying. Sure, they conduct plenty of fun experiments and demos, and work on whiteboards and jam boards together as they study. But, often, it’s simply the story of biology and how life works that elicits a satisfying “Wow!” from her students. She sees this happen when they study the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration and students express awe and wonder at how their cells function. When studying meiosis, she loves to share with students how special they are—that among the countless other factors God ordained in designing them, they truly are one in over eight million possible chromosomal combinations.
Sylvia Chen received her Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry in 1987 from Harvard College, completed her medical degree in 1991 from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and finished her pediatric residency in 1994 from Baylor. She practiced as a pediatrician for a few years before she and her husband decided to homeschool their children. She has taught in a wide variety of settings, including pediatric wards, homeschool co-ops and Sunday school as well as for the SAT.