MaryKay Severino

MaryKay Severino

Education Director, Co-President, Co-Founder - ARISA Lab, L.L.C.


  • Arlington Catholic High School
  • Villanova University
  • BA Economics
  • Emporia State University
  • MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Salem State University
  • Graduate Certificate: K-6 Licensure

MaryKay Severino is part of NASA's Science Activation Program (SciAct). SciAct has projects and NASA teams across the U.S. that are helping learners of all ages do science!

What first sparked your interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or math?

I have always found the Mars rovers intriguing - from the ingenuity and technology needed to build them to the discoveries they make on Mars!

Readings, videos and lessons on the Mars rovers always sparked exciting conversations among students in my classroom while I was still teaching.

What Science Activation project(s) are you affiliated with?

The Eclipse Soundscapes project studies how eclipses affect life on Earth. Eclipse Soundscapes citizen scientists will help collect and analyze sound data from the Oct. 14, 2023 annular eclipse and the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

I use my education background to develop accessible and inclusive learning opportunities centered around exciting STEM topics, such as eclipses.

After living abroad in both Europe and Asia for many years, I have a strong understanding of the challenges faced by anyone who communicates differently. As a result I am passionate about working with underrepresented communities to understand their needs, and strive to continuously learn about, improve, and share best practices related to making both formal and informal STEM education accessible and more inclusive.

What's one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in learning more about science?

If you don't understand something, never be afraid to ask a question. Someone else is probably wondering the same thing and everyone will benefit from hearing the answer to your question.

What are some fun facts about yourself?

I enjoy hiking, gardening, and camping. I love languages and find their similarities and differences fascinating. I have been to 47 states and almost 30 countries, which was made possible by living and working in many different regions in the U.S. and in several different countries.