Science in Motion

Erin Benfer
Erin Benfer

Erin Benfer

My entire teaching career has been predominantly science classes for non-science students, as well as introductory-level classes for science majors. Much of that time was spent teaching marine science to students who ‘just needed a science course to graduate’. More recently, at Ursinus College, I have been teaching non-science chemistry and biology classes mixed with majors’ level science classes. The experiences I have had teaching science to students who self-describe as ‘not good at science’ has been both rewarding and eye-opening. So many of these students are actually very good at science, but lack confidence due to a negative experience of science in middle and high school. That has led me to become a Science in Motion mobile educator as well as my teaching at Ursinus College. My goal is to interact with students *before* they have decided that they are ‘not good at science’ and provide a more enriching science education in middle and high school.

Courses Taught

  • BIO 101L: Ecology & Evolution Lab
  • BIO 102L: Cell Biology Lab
  • BIO 150: Bio and the World
  • BIO 350 & 350L: Human Anatomy & Lab
  • CHEM 101 & 101L: Environmental Chemistry & Lab
  • CHEM 102 & 102L: Forensic Chemistry & Lab
  • Science in Motion: Mobile Instructor for area Middle & High Schools

Expertise/Research Interests

  • Primary and secondary science education
    Post-secondary science education for the non-science student
    Marine Science; interdisciplinary sciences

Recent Work

Science in Motion keeps me plenty busy these days! The Science in Motion program provides access to resources, curricula, and development opportunities for middle and high school teachers and students that support and strengthen the quality of science education. Oftentimes schools cannot afford expensive equipment that will only be used once a year. Instead, they borrow the Science in Motion equipment and instructors, paid for with a PA Department of Education grant.


Erin has been at Ursinus College for 5 years, teaching lab and lecture classes in the Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies Department.  Before that, she taught Physics, Oceanography, and Biology at Gettysburg College for 5 years, and Marine Science courses at Coastal Carolina University for 10 years.


  • Bachelors in Biology, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Masters in Marine Science, University South Carolina