Karen Olson

Baraboo, WI | 7-12, Science, 2019


Karen Olson currently serves as an instructional coach at Baraboo High School where she taught 9th–12th grade biology and astronomy classes for seven years. Previously, she was a science teacher for 14 years at Waunakee Community High School teaching biology, biotechnology, astronomy, weather and climate, and physical science classes. Karen's students have collaborated with community agencies and designed mitigation plans to reduce impacts of human disturbances on local ecosystems. Her students model phenomenon and engage in scientific inquiry. Karen is on her building leadership team and has mentored new teachers for 14 years. In 2006, Karen was chosen for the Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers where she trained with NASA scientists to develop curriculum using astrobiology research. In 2014, Karen was named the Wisconsin Environmental Education Energy Educator of the Year and was named a 2016 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellow. She has presented numerous times at Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers conferences and one time at the National Science Teaching Association Regional Conference. Karen is National Board Certified in adolescent/young adult science. Karen earned a B.S. in biology education and broad field science from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and an M.S. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She holds grades 6–12 teaching certifications in biology, earth and space science, and physical science. Karen holds K–12 certifications in athletic coaching and as an instructional technology specialist. She has additional certifications as a Level 1 certified trauma practitioner; in environmental education; and for coaching and mentoring beginning teachers.