Keeping Health + Safety at the Center

As we plan for Summer 2021, EXPLO is committed to planning programs that prioritize the health and safety of our campus community. For the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 planning and protocols, please visit our FAQ page.


A New Approach to Teaching + Learning

We face a complex, uncertain future with unprecedented challenges such as recovering from a world-wide pandemic, climate change, deep societal inequities, and navigating the fragility of civil society. This same future presents boundless opportunities for human flourishing, such as advances in biomedical technology and improved standards of living around the globe. Technologies like automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are rapidly transforming the ways we work, live, and learn. Many of the jobs and institutions we know today will be unrecognizable in the coming years. The nature of our future lives will be shaped by the ethical and technological decisions we make today.

A student argues a case in front of Colorado Supreme Court Justice Richard Gabriel

In the face of this scale of change, what’s clear is that the old, traditional model of classroom learning will no longer suffice. We select instructors, mentors, coaches, guides, and partners who are doing work on the frontiers of their fields to design learning experiences that challenge students with thought-provoking questions and guide them in grappling with the tension of complex issues.

How do we achieve this?

With a dynamic mix of experts, academics, and practitioners who combine to deliver an unparalleled pre-college experience that takes students beyond the textbook and lectures into the heart of the real work of the profession.


Selected among the leading universities and organizations, EXPLO Instructors are at the frontiers of their field and are our on-campus experts. They lead the delivery of our curriculum, advise our students and Teaching Fellows, and draw clear connections among the many learning experiences that make up each of our Concentrations.

Featured Past Instructors Include:

Col. Matt Stanton

AP US Government and Politics Teacher;
Former Professor of Joint Military Operations at the Naval War College

Matt is currently an AP U.S. Government and Politics instructor, whose previous assignments include a Military Professor of Joint Military Operations at the Naval War College and the US Military Academy at West Point. Recipient of numerous citations and medals, he served in Iraq where he was twice awarded a bronze star, and in Korea where he was recognized for his work with the United Nations Command Security Battalion as the Executive Officer.

Noreen Wauford

Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Engineering, Weiss Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Noreen graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering before making the move to MIT as a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Shazia Hashmi, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, University of Malaysia Sabah
Shazia recently completed a 20 year tenure as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Malaysia Sabah. During that time, Shazia was not only a teacher and a mentor, but she also conducted extensive research, developed expertise in curriculum development, and received accreditation and certification for new course module designs.

Guest Instructors

Each Concentration features guest instruction from experts in areas of particular relevance to the curriculum. Most guest instructors take up brief residencies on campus in order to connect with students on project design considerations, provide them with thoughtful feedback, or deliver hands-on workshops focused in a particularly relevant skill or idea.

Featured Past Guest Instructors Include:

Hon. Richard Gabriel

Justice, Colorado Supreme Court
Justice Richard Gabriel has served on the Colorado Supreme Court since 2015 and served as a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals from 2008-15. A 1984 graduate of Yale University and a 1987 graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Gabriel spent 20 years in private legal practice before being appointed to the bench. During that time, his trial practice focused on commercial law, intellectual property law, probate, and products liability litigation. Significant clients included Michael Jackson, the Colorado Rockies baseball team, Sony Music, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Ph.D.

Psychologist, The Park School, Boston
Dr. Moorehead-Slaughter is a clinically trained child psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. She is the former Chair of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee and the Massachusetts Board of Licensure for Psychologists. Currently, Dr. Moorehead-Slaughter is the Psychologist at The Park School, an independent school in Brookline, Massachusetts. She also supervises doctoral candidates and has a private consulting practice which includes working with faculty and administrators in independent schools throughout the country on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; clinical consultation, presentations, and workshops. She was the recipient of the APA Society for the Psychology of Women’s Bonnie Strickland and Jessica Henderson Daniel Award for Distinguished Mentoring.

David Mulligan, M.D., FACS

Chief of Transplantation Surgery + Immunology, Yale New Haven Hospital
Dr. Mulligan is an accomplished surgeon, professor of medicine, and researcher. He began his career by building a multi-organ transplant program in Arizona through the Mayo Clinic and, later, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Currently, Dr. Mulligan works with the Yale University School of Medicine and is the Chief of Transplantation Surgery at Yale-New Haven hospital. His work focuses on testing novel strategies in immunosuppression, improved biomechanical organ preservation methods to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury, and 3D bioprinting to collaborate in finding ways to grow new organs from stem cell precursors.


EXPLO Concentrations are designed in partnership with cutting-edge firms, organizations, and people who are at the frontiers of their industry. By building learning experiences around the real world work being done in each field, EXPLO Concentrations give students insider access to the authentic work of the profession.

Featured Partnerships include:


Multinational Candy Corporation
EXPLO students made a series of site visits to PEZ headquarters with the objectives of learning about the brand, its marketing, and its corporate objectives. With these considerations in mind, EXPLO Students developed a concept for new product packaging and the associated go to market strategy, designed to reach a desirable new market segment. They then pitched their proposals to PEZ executives and integrated their feedback.

Glenn Gaudette, Ph.D.

The Myocardial Regeneration Lab, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
A cardiothoracic surgeon requires synthetic cardiac tissue, at provided specifications, for urgent surgical implantation on a current patient who recently suffered myocardial infarction. Students will decellularize plant material whose vasculature closely mimics that of a human heart. They’ll preserve the desired vascular function using a synthetic biomaterial coating process and perform assays and other laboratory-based tests in order to ensure they’ve met the surgeon’s specifications.

Sheryl McCollum

Director, Cold Case Investigative Research Institute
McCollum leads students in a multi-day investigation of a real cold case. She will introduce the case file, evidence, witness statements, timelines and more. She’ll teach students how to “walk the scene,” identify solvability factors, and coach them through devising an action plan that could help reopen the investigation.

Teaching Fellows

EXPLO Teaching Fellows assist the Instructors in delivery of the Concentration’s curriculum. They are advanced undergraduate and graduate students, professional teachers, and practitioners in the field. Our Teaching Fellows are required to complete a robust teacher development program at the start of every summer. Our results are so exceptional that schools across the world, nonprofits, and even leading corporations have asked us to develop curriculum and to train their professionals to be more engaging and creative teachers.

Curriculum Advisory

Members of the EXPLO Curriculum Advisory Committee are experts in their fields. From neurobiologists and New York Times best-selling authors to emergency physicians at world-class hospitals, internationally-renowned education reformers, and space explorers — they contribute to our Concentrations by shaping current curriculum, connecting us with the very best people and organizations within their fields, and keeping EXPLO on the leading edge of the world of people and ideas.

Meet Our Heads of Programs

Sarah Ruter is a singing, dancing, English teacher who detoured into practicing law before returning to her first love: education. Sarah started her education career at EXPLO in 1996, where she’s held numerous positions including teacher, residential advisor, admissions officer, residence director, and Dean of Students, and returned as Head of Programs in 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin — Madison, where she was a Robert C. Byrd Scholar. For years, she taught high school writing, public speaking, and literature at a public school in Massachusetts. She also headed the school’s Theater Society, where she directed three plays per year for the 100-member drama organization. Sarah attended the University of Minnesota Law School, where she earned her J.D. cum laude. She practiced general, commercial and employment law with regular appearances in state and federal court. Minnesota Law and Politics called her a “Rising Star” and Minnesota Lawyer named her to their list of “Up and Coming Attorneys.”

Andy Smith, Assistant Head of Programs, began his EXPLO career in 2007 and has worked as a senior administrator, including Director of Programming and Director of Curriculum and Instruction on various of our summer campuses. For five years, Andy worked during the academic year in curriculum development at the Exploration Center. While working in curriculum, you might have found Andy writing essential questions for a germ biology course, coaching a teacher on instructional techniques, or in EXPLO’s woodshop, experimenting with crafting a new putting green and hole for a physics-through-mini-golf course. He was a varsity swimmer in college and has coached several swim teams. Prior to joining EXPLO year round, Andy taught English in various New York state public schools. He’s also taught abroad, he was a teacher in Ghana and a literacy head teacher in Kenya. Andy earned his B.A. in English and education at the State University of New York, Geneseo and his M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Massachusetts with a focus on helping schools cultivate meaning and purpose in the lives of their students.