Degrees and Certifications:
BS, Trinity College; MA, University of Dublin
Teaches: Chemistry, Consumer Math, Enviromental Science, Physics
David Oliver was born in Ireland and has been in the United States for over 20 years, living in California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He earned an honors level Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and a Masters from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. At University, he was a regular debater in the College Historical Society (founder by Edmund Burke and is the oldest formal debating society in the world), was an active rugby player and participated in student politics and government Since 1992, he has worked in the Life Sciences industry in sales and marketing for companies such as Covance Inc. and Genzyme Inc. before founding his own life science consultancy firm. Some of his experience here is developing and marketing innovative organ rejection test to world renowned medical centers such as Stanford, UCLA, U. Pittsburgh, John Hopkins etc. He also help develop and sell imaginative software packages to monitor patient’s prescription drug compliance. In his own business, he helped build relationships for overseas biotech, pharmaceutical and green energy companies with key opinion leaders, VCs and regulatory bodies in the US.
In 2010 he felt it was time for a new challenge so he made a transition to science education. He first was Middle School Science Teacher (& coordinator) at Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos, a prominent local Jewish Day School ’10-’14. Here, he created a culture of interest in and enthusiasm for science by having the students to start competing in the Santa Clara County Science Fair with up to 30% of the Middle School entering with winners every year and a State Winner in 2012.
Mr. Oliver then taught science at St. Lawrence Middle school in Santa Clara where he put the science program back on track and generated an interest in science in the student body.
In 2015, he joined Mid-Pen as the Upper level science teacher as well as teaching Freshmen. He continues to be excited about teaching at Mid-Pen as he feels it will “allow me to use all my education and experience to the fullest to give the students a solid science education for college and afterwards”. Furthermore, he feels the collaborative environment at Mid-Pen allows him to be part of a team helping students achieve success.
David has completed several marquee professional development programs. He spent the summer of 2012 as a Stanford Research Teaching Fellow working on an innovative DNA synthesis project. Here, “I learned how my student’s feel when doing labs. and how scary that can be”. In the summer of 2013 he was a student of the “amazing” San Francisco Exploratorium Middle School science teacher’s workshop. At this, he learned some great labs, innovative teaching strategies and tips about implementing the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In the summer of 2014, he was a Lockheed Martin Teacher Fellow where he worked on atmospheric re-entry issues for submarine launched ballistic missile nuclear warheads, he found this “to be a great example of where STEM subjects come together for a real world usage”. In 2017, he spent time at the Stanford University Chemistry Dept. as part of “ChemX ‘17’ where he learned new and innovative techniques to provide a more experiential learning program. He also was a member of the inaugural ‘Chemistry & Social Justice’ cohort creating socially responsible curriculum for the student’s classroom learning used to help solve real world problems for disadvantaged communities.
He has attended multiple times the National and California Science Teachers Association annual conferences and is a member of both associations. He also is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers Association.
He has published several papers on liver transplantation as well as presenting at several professional conferences in this field.
He lives in Mountain View with two elderly cats, and is a competitive Master Rower. Currently, he is serving in the California Army National Guard as a chemical, biological and nuclear warfare specialist since ’05 and before that in the US Naval Reserve (’01-’05). He is a Civilian First Responder and volunteers in his community.
His philosophy on science teaching is to have the students engage in inquiry led learning with labs. Projects etc. to discover both the practice and theory of science. Mr. Oliver says “My real world experience of the use of science to create lifesaving discoveries (in the pharmaceutical industry) reinforces this belief. Furthermore, real science is a collaborative effort so I emphasize project/group work where I can.”