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Super Teachers: Mrs. Iris Payan

Posted at 10:12 AM, Feb 28, 2019

Science meets cellphones in Dr. Iris Payan’s chemistry class at Hollywood Hills High School, and if you thought your chemistry class was interesting, hold the phone.

"Today, my students are investigating whether or not ionic or covalent compounds are more conductive. They are using wireless probes to get their conductivity measurement, and they are collecting their data on their cellphones through an app, how cool is that?" said Payan.

The fact that technology is such an integral part of the lesson plans gets the teacher, and the students, fired up.

"It absolutely excites all of us, especially myself, because everything is through your phone now a days. The students can see that they can use their cellphones to not only text their friends, but also use them in the science classroom to collect and analyze data. They are tabulating the data on a spreadsheet and sending their results to me through an app," said Payan.

Dr Payan has taught at Hollywood Hills for 20 years. Literally in this classroom. In fact she was teaching here before these kids were born. Still she keeps her lesson fresh, and her students think she’s pretty cool.

"What I think makes Dr. Payan such a great teacher is that she always explains things in a way so that we understand it, and she uses physical examples to show us how things work. She always has a smile on her face, she's always making jokes, always trying to make us laugh so that we can understand the lesson better," said 10th grader Juan Diego Rodriguez.

"Dr. Payan is so special here to the family at Hollywood Hills High School because she's passionate about what she does and it rubs off on the kids, it gets the kids excited. She's always looking for new and innovative things, including technology, and she's always finding new and creative ways to engage the kids," said Erin Brown, Assistant Principal of the Year for Broward County.

And even after 20 years Dr. Payan shows no signs of slowing down.

"I get fired up everyday because I have great students, and I can teach them a little bit about their technology while incorporating it into the curriculum. I'm always looking for new things, new technologies to get them excited to come to class," said Payan.

So give it up for Dr Iris Payan. She’s got all the solutions in her chemistry class. She’s this week’s super teacher and the recipient of two passes to Universal Orlando Resort.

(Prizes provided by Universal Orlando Resort™)