“Leslie has a unique approach to teaching that involves conceptualizing fundamental principles of physics and chemistry in a way that helps students learn about the world around them. I have never seen a more successful approach to science education. Her style teaches kids not to be afraid of learning in general and of science in particular. As long as they are with her, their minds are truly open and they are certainly on an adventure.”

—Larry Miller, U.S. Geological Survey

“It is impossible for me to point to one experience and say it was my overarching turning point from childhood to maturity. There have been too many factors, people, events, challenges, and thoughts involved—all creating a series of small leaps in maturity, instead of one epic shift. However, if I had to pick one experience that had a profound effect on my views of the world, I could say my life was changed by ATOMS. “

—Liam, A.T.O.M. Science Club Student Read the rest of Liam’s letter

“At the young age of five I first met my science club teacher, Leslie. She came into my life through an after-school science program for young children where I developed my interest in science. Now, eight years later, I am still learning from her and occasionally helping her teach as a Junior Instructor, the highest achievement in her science club. Leslie has motivated me with her passion for science, her dedication to teaching, and her leadership.”

—Allison, A.T.O.M. Science Club Student

“Our student section both provides visitors to go out to [Leslie’s] after school program and teach the kids new things AND we hold an annual ATOMS Day at UC Berkeley where the kids sign up to come visit our NE department. As the coordinator in 2010 and adviser in 2011 I would say that this event is AMAZING to see all these young minds eager to give up a Sunday to actively learn… the most rewarding experience of my 4 years of undergraduate work at UC Berkeley.” 

—Joseph Curtis, Nuclear Engineering Student

“The A.T.O.M. Science Club you have created has been a phenomenal experience for our children. Our son Ben has gained such a love of science as he heads into high school. Our younger son Tim has been with you for three years now, and the ATOM Science Club is a highlight of every week. He rushes to wear his periodic table t-shirt on club day, watches science channel every chance he can get, and begs to get out the telescope to look at the stars and planets… you are an amazing teacher. Your love of science, love of children and joy of life is evident in all that you do. You not only engage the children and ignite their curiosity, but you also help them draw from deep within themselves and feel confident and excited that they can explore and understand the universe. They know their ideas and questions matter! What you have created in the A.T.O.M. Science Club and your ongoing gift to the children is extraordinary. We cannot thank you enough.”

—Page Mailliard and James Isaacs, parents