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Hayat Sindi
Science Entrepreneur - Emerging Explorer

Something the size of a postage stamp, costing just a penny a piece, could be a medical breakthrough that will save millions of lives. According to Hayat Sindi, when this tiny piece of paper enters an impoverished African village, the power of an entire diagnostic lab has arrived.

"My mission is to find simple, inexpensive ways to monitor health that are specifically designed for remote places and harsh conditions," Sindi notes. She believes technology pioneered by a team at Harvard University will make it possible, and she co-founded the nonprofit Diagnostics For All to produce and distribute the innovation.

Sindi's irrepressible passion and accomplishments have made her a role model for women and girls across the Middle East and the world. "I want all women to believe in themselves and know they can transform society." She lectures and appears on talk shows and even bicycled across the Middle East with hundreds of professional women to highlight the plight of women and children. "At schools, the first thing I ask children to do is to draw a picture of a scientist [and] 99.9 percent of them draw an old bald man with glasses. When I tell them I'm a scientist they look so surprised." A new foundation she's launched gives guidance and seed money to inspire youth who attend university abroad to bring their talent back to their homelands and "flourish to their maximum potential."

"My message is: Find a mission in life and contribute something to humanity. For me, science is a universal language that transcends nationality, religion, and gender. It can help solve any problem our world faces." To prove it, she's using a little piece of paper and one very big idea.

To read more about Hayat Sindi please visit: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/hayat-sindi/

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Dr. Joan Kang Shin
Ph.D., Language, Literacy & Culture, UMBC, 2008
M.A., ISD, Bilingual/ESOL Education, UMBC, 1999
B.A., Economics, Cornell University, 1993

Dr. Joan Kang Shin is the Director of TESOL Professional Training Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and specializes in the training and professional development of teachers of English to young learners. In this position she administers numerous online professional development programs for EFL teachers in over 100 countries, including her own courses Teaching English to Young Learners and Teaching English to Teens.

Dr. Shin is also the Project Director of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) funded STEP T for ELLs Program (Secondary Teacher Education and Professional Training for English Language Learners) in the Education Department at UMBC. This five-year program provides professional development to secondary math, science, and social studies teachers in Maryland to give effective content instruction to English language learners (ELLs).

In addition, she keeps herself busy as an English Language Specialist for the Office of English Language Programs (OELP) in the U.S. Department of State and has conducted EFL teacher training programs with hundreds of teachers in Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Korea, Laos, Libya, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam, and U.A.E. She has reached audiences of up to 300 through online webinars and trained groups of teachers through digital videoconferencing in Cuba, India, Sudan, and Taiwan.

Dr. Shin is a Series Editor, with Dr. JoAnn Crandall, for Our World, National Geographic Learning's six-level primary series for young learners of English, as well as co-author for National Geographic Learning's Teaching Young Learners English, also with Dr. Crandall.

Dr. Shin is currently working on Explore Our World, a light and lively version of Our World, and Welcome to Our World, a three-level preprimary series for very young learners of English. She is a Series Editor, with Dr. Crandall, for both series. Explore Our World and Welcome to Our World are also now available.

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John Hughes

John is a teacher trainer and well-known ELT course book author. He began teaching Business English and English for Specific Purposes in Poland in 1993 and specialised in this area for many years. As well as Poland, he also taught in Austria and Italy before returning to the United Kingdom and managing a teacher training department.

As a teacher trainer, he prepared teachers for the Trinity Cert TESOL and Diploma TESOL certification as well the First Certificate for Teaching Business English. He still runs tailor-made courses for language schools (both face-to-face and online) and is a tutor at Oxford University on its summer methodology courses.

As a course book writer, he has worked on over twenty books both as an author and co-author. His titles for National Geographic Learning include Spotlight on FCE, Practical Grammar Levels 1, 2 and 3, Aspire Intermediate, Success with BEC Vantage and Total Business 2.

2012 saw the launch of a major six-level ELT course series from National Geographic Learning called 'Life' which John co-wrote with Paul Dummett and Helen Stephenson. ‘Life’ was the first general English course book to include a special focus on critical thinking skills. John is also the author of a teacher resource booklet called ‘Critical Thinking in the Language Classroom’ and writes a blog called www.elteachertrainer.com.

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Thomas Taha Rassam Culhane
Emerging Explorer, National Geographic Blackstone Innovation Challenge Grantee

It takes one mother seven hours to bathe her family. She leaves her Cairo apartment, bucket in hand, and walks to the neighborhood water standpipe. Returning, bucket balanced atop her head, she climbs three flights of stairs, lights the stove, and waits for the water to warm. Bucket after bucket, trip after trip, hour after hour.

Thomas Taha Rassam "T.H." Culhane has a better idea.

His nongovernmental organization, Solar C.³I.T.I.E.S., works with residents of Cairo's poorest neighborhoods to install rooftop solar water heaters. "They generate 200 liters of hot water and 200 liters of cold water for each household every day," Culhane explains. "And since the technology is completely CO2 free, it contributes nothing to global warming. If people don't have access to enough water, it becomes a serious health issue. And when women spend all their time tending stoves to heat water, they how can they go to school or get ahead?" Culhane's grasp of these daily challenges is personal; he and his wife moved to a slum apartment themselves to gain first-hand experience.

With Culhane's help, more than 30 solar tanks now dot the rooftops of the Zabaleen's primarily Coptic Christian community, as well as Darb Al-Ahmar, an Islamic Cairo neighborhood. "I divide my time between the two, working to bring them together," Culhane notes. (Hence the name Solar C.³I.T.I.E.S: Connecting Community Catalysts Integrating Technologies for Industrial Ecology Systems.) "I knew if they could actually meet one another and connect on a project to solve common problems, they would overcome their differences. They immediately began sharing and building on each other's expertise. Now we're using the strengths of both Christianity and Islam to fight a common enemy: environmental degradation."

To read more about Thomas Taha Rassa Culhane visit: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/culhane-thomas/

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Anne Burns

Dr Anne Burns is a full professor of TESOL in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She is also Professor Emerita in Language Education at Aston University, Birmingham, Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is known internationally for her work in action research, the teaching of speaking, and teacher education, having published over 15 books on these topics. She is an Academic Advisor to the Applied Linguistics Series published by Oxford University Press, and a Senior Consultant to Cengage/National Geographic Learning. She also serves as an Executive Board member of the International Applied Linguistics Association (AILA).

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Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson studied French and Arabic at the University of Central London, did a DELTA through International House and an MA in Applied Linguistics the University of Reading. He started his career in EFL in the nineteen-seventies. He spent four years during the nineteen seventies as a volunteer teacher in Egypt and Thailand. In the nineteen eighties and nineties he worked respectively as a school teacher, teacher-trainer, lecturer and materials writer in Saudi Arabia and several in the Arabian Gulf States. After returning to the UK, Steve worked as a lecturer and skills tutor in ESOL at a further education college. Since 1998 he has worked as a full-time materials writer, consultant, teacher-trainer and examiner for a number of UK and international publishers and for UK-based examination and awarding bodies. Recently he has worked on materials for Saudi Arabia and the UAE and his most recent major project has been as joint-author of a three-level ESOL cross-curricular Kindergarten series for National Geographic Cengage Learning, a new and exciting challenge in a novel sector, as he describes it.

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