Ms. Helmes received her B.A. in Psychology, minor in Biology from Hiram College in 2000, and pursued a MS in Animal Learning & Behavior at Kansas State University. She taught several undergraduate courses while at Kansas State, and was hooked on helping others learn. After returning to Western NY, she taught Zoo Science classes at Buffalo Public #59. She then pursued her teaching certification in Biology and Earth Science, and later completed her Masters in Physics Education at SUNY Buffalo State. She now teaches Living Environment, Environmental Science, Astronomy and Natural Disasters at Williamsville Alternative Instructional Model (AIM) HS, as well as co-instructing summer physics teaching courses and teaching Literacy for pre-service science teachers at SUNY Buffalo State. Ms. Helmes currently serves as the Earth Science Subject Area Representative (SAR) and Vice-Chair for the Western Section of STANYS, and is a member of NSTA, NYESTA, AAPT and AMTA.