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Poscast Interview!

13 Mar

I have been so lucky to have gotten so involved in so many different conversations about women in the STEM fields. I was recently found via twitter thanks to the “rocket scientist” description of myself. The Teach for America Podscast @BlankShowRadio on twitter reached out to me not too long ago to ask me the same question everyone is always interested in….why did I leave my awesome engineering job in the space systems industry to become an under paid and under appreciated teacher?!?!?!



Hear my response to this question and a few more by pressing play on the player below. Since it is a podcast interview there is only sound and no visual. You can also listen by clicking the link directly below.

[jwplayer mediaid=”2504″]

Episode 101 – Who Runs the Future of STEM? Girls!


On a completely different note, I have been listening to the following song non-stop. It’s just so catchy and I am killing it with the dance moves. I have a burning desire to do this same dance in a grocery store just like her.

Sara Bareilles – Gonna Get over You


I Love Science

23 Feb

Teaching science at the high school level has given me a whole new perspective on the importance of marketing the importance of science literacy and education to students. Besides teaching physics content, I try to share as many interesting science related topics in our current events. I think what science needs is a better marketing campaign. Too many young people think that math and science are too hard to pursue as a career. I continually try to do my best to reverse this idea within my classroom.

I am completely obsessed with quantum physics. The complexity and beauty of special relativity, superstring theory and quantum physics fascinate me and continually blow my mind. Here is Columbia theoretical physicists Brian Greene promoting the awesomeness of science on the Colbert Report!!

The following video is Mayim Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the Big Bang Theory talking about the importance and beauty of science. My favorite part of this video is at the 3:40 mark where she talks about a science career versus an acting career. Here exact words are:

“I had professors when I was an undergraduate that said, ‘why are you here if you could have the world of acting, why wouldn’t you take it?’ Being a scientist is a exciting, creating and interesting as being an artist.”

This quote immediately reminded me of when my students ask me “Ms. Chabebe why are you here teaching instead of  working at NASA?” My answer is always the same, I love teaching and I feel that it is the best career for me to use my passion and love for math and science. Teaching has been as creative and interesting of a career as it was to design spaceship parts!

Student Work

30 Dec

I have been away from school now and though I am enjoying te time off a whole lot I do miss my students. Just before leaving for break one of my students drew up a fun cartoon on my smartboard.

He called it, Bob the bodybuilder

bob the bodybulder


Since it’s almost new years I decided to get festive!

2013 nails


11 Nov

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

Because I am not a man and cannot grow a moustache, I have decided to show my support a little differently.

Happy Movember!

Los Blancos Amor Homeland

7 Nov

In the midst of the Sandy Hurricane disaster, I have found this SNL video imitation of Mayor Bloomberg far too entertaining. In his address to the NYC community Bloomberg typically closes his speech with a summarized version for Spanish speakers. I just can’t get over how well this impersonation is and how funny the context is.

No offense to anyone of course =)

Feel free to rewind and watch the whole thing, it’s quite funny.


4 Nov

B.B.E. = Best Birthday Ever!

Had the cutest wake up call….

Spent the long daylight savings night having a blast

Me and Kristen!

My friend Kristen just moved up the block from me which is pretty awesome! It’s crazy how people you meet through the most distant of friends end up being more a part of your life than you ever would have thought. So we started my birthday celebrations last night before daylight savings!

After a full day of miscellaneous celebrations, I decided to make a cake based on the supplies available in my place. It actually turned out delicious.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it before I devoured half of it =P Oh and that tray behind the mostly eaten banana bread is a tray of brownies I made earlier this week we also recently devoured!

Oh, and lets not forget that my favorite band, Green Day, recently released their newest single. Unfortunately they have decided to add it as a part of the twilight saga soundtrack. But I forgive them. Green Day has been my favorite band since age 9.

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Turns out, the area of Queens where I live was hardly affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to everyone who sent me emails and called making sure I was ok! I have been lucky to have power and no issues and a 5 day weekend. I have not relaxed this hard in quite a long time.

I did go outside during the hurricane. Probably not the smartest thing to do but we were careful. We walked to the train station a block away where the platform is above ground. We wanted to check out what the city skyline looked like after most of the lights had gone out. This is a picture taken after we jumped the turnstiles and got onto the train platform.

The tiny faint light in the middle of the picture is the top of the empire state building



Walking the streets during Sandy

Unfortunately, the NYC halloween parade was cancelled which is probably one of my favorite yearly events in the city. I did manage to have some halloween fun before the storm hit though.

After some debate with costume ideas I decided to go for something simple yet fun and part of current pop culture. I decided to dress up as the guy from PSY who sings Gangname Syle

[audio:|titles=Gangnam Syle|artists=PSY]

How did I do?

And here is a picture with Unlce Sam and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction (post drug overdose -hence the nose bleed)

 Who doesn’t love some Halloween dress up fun?

A Story About Race

30 Oct

I think I have briefly mentioned before my reason(s) for leaving my awesome engineering job in the space systems industry to pursue an underrated career in education. I grew up being a part of the NYC public school system but was lucky enough to escape during high school and pursue an academically challenging education in Ecuador, a third world country. It was thanks to this third world education that I was able to succeed in my higher educational career and continue my education well beyond.

I am completely appalled with the elementary and high school level education in this country. The caliber of students that are produced in the public school system are far below what is necessary to compete at the college and especially at a global level. That’s not to say that all public high schools are terrible, but the vast majority, especially in inner cities, prove to be well below adequate.

When I returned from Ecuador, at the end of my junior year of high school, I enrolled in the high school 3 blocks from my house which I was zoned to go to. School administration reluctantly matriculated me into the honors and AP courses I requested to be in, thinking that I was educationally deficient because I was coming from abroad. This was not the only time my academic abilities were questioned while at this high school. Probably the most poignant memory of my high school career was when my guidance counselor attempted to convince me not to apply to attend Stevens Institute of Technology because I “would be better off attending a state school because of both my academic and financial level.”

Well, I guess at this point it’s safe to say….

Not only completed, but destroyed considering I graduated with high honors. In any case…that whole side story had a point. That one moment in my educational career had a giant and lasting impact on me. It has turned me into a lifelong student on a relentless pursuit to inspire and educate underprivileged youth to reach and exceed their maximum potential despite societal expectations. Part of that pursuit involves me trying to find different inspirational ways to showcase the importance of education to my students.

I think I have mentioned it quite a few times already, but probably one of my biggest heroes is Neil deGrasse Tyson (NDT) for so many reasons. I happened to stumble upon this video almost by accident but I couldn’t help being reminded of my story.

NDT hits the nail on the head about culturally doing “the right thing.” It’s a bit of a lengthy video at 12 minutes long, but I highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

[jwplayer mediaid=”1956″]

Full Circles

29 Oct

Just over a year ago, I created this blog. It just so happens my first post was written on the day of Hurricane Irene.

Today I write this post while Hurricane Sandy tears it up outside on it’s way with 90mph winds…..Full circle…

Because of the Hurricane I have no school today or tomorrow. Thanks to Sandy, my physics students saved themselves from having their first true physics based exam which would have been today. We finally wrapped up learning the equations of motion dealing with constant velocity and constant acceleration in one dimension as well as position time graphs. I have decided to wait until Friday to administer the exam since I doubt anyone is using the extra days off to study.

To be honest….I had not even created the exam until this morning. Sandy has given me some much needed time off to relax after weeks of poor sleep and massive amounts of stress. In creating this exam, I went hunting for my old college physics exams to add an extra credit question on my exams to give my students an idea of what college physics might look like.

The following exam is my very first college physics exam. I was 17 years old at the time I took this exam and I am quite proud of myself looking back. I got a 20/20 on this exam. I guess it makes that I have ended up teaching physics….Full Circle….


And on another note of being easily distracted while trying to get ahead with my work I have somehow have been listening to (and dancing to) a lot of  old merengue songs from the late 90’s. Particularly Elvis Crespo and the song Luna Llena (Full Moon). I wonder of it has anything to do with the fact that there is a full moon out tonight!!! Full circle!

[audio:|titles=Luna Llena|artists=Elvis Crespo]


100,000 Student Classroom

24 Oct

After a frustrating week in the classroom, I stumbled upon a useful and motivating video on Ted talks.

About a year ago I was toying with the idea to not only to take my last few classes to complete my masters degree but to also sign up for two free online and world-wide offered classes from Stanford in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. I ended up deciding that taking 4 classes, especially two Stanford classes, while working full time was a bad idea.

Today however, the topic of those classes came up on a ted talks podcast I was listening to on my way home from school. As I continue along the slippery slope of teacher phases (see chart below) this lecture was quite refreshing

The Evolution of a Teacher


It’s true what they learned about Teach for America (4:50) because I try to implement these things in my class every day – “A class is not primarily about information more important is motivation and determination. It’s crucial that the students see that we are working hard for them and they’re all supporting each other.”

You better believe I am working hard for all 162 of my students.