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Our Mad Scientists



Amethyst Amanda (Amanda Eaton) – After School and Camp Coordinator, Assembly Show Specialist, &  Workshop Instructor 

 Amanda recently moved back to Maine after 11 years in the Midwest. She has been a teaching artist for 14 years and loves working with students of all ages! She holds a BA in Theatre and Minor in Dance from The University of Maine and is graduate of The Second City, Chicago.  Amanda loves all things science and arts related and is excited for Mad Science to now focus on STEAM! Amanda spends her time acting, biking, writing, cooking and singing when not working in the Mad Science Lab and spreading the love of science all over Maine. She lives in South Portland with her partner Brendan and goldfish Emilio and E.T.




Catalyst Corey (Corey Cleary) – Special Event and  Assembly Show Specialist, After-School Program Instructor 

Catalyst Corey is a working artist and educator here in Portland who has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, with an emphasis in Illustration from Montserrat College of Art. Catalyst Corey began his teaching career as an Animation Instructor for the Glen Urquhart After School Program in Beverly, MA where he assisted students in designing characters and taught the fundamentals of stop motion animation. Mixing his passion for art, love of teaching, his interest in science, and incredible enthusiasm, Catalyst Corey makes the perfect Mad Scientist for all our Assembly Shows, Workshops, and After School Programs. When he is not creating art or teaching, you can find Catalyst Corey biking in the city he loves, cooking his favorite creative recipes, and playing air hockey (he states he is overly competitive.) And speaking of competitive, he enjoys watching his friends lose to him while playing board games. This Mad Scientist, it seems, is





Jetpack Jed (Jed Thomas)- Operations Manager, Birthday Party Specialist, After-School Program Instructor 

Jetpack Jed got his BA in Psychology from Hendrix College in Conway, AR in 2008. He moved to Maine in 2012 to run a small bed and breakfast in Kennebunkport and immediately fell in love with New England. After working as an After-School Instructor for Mad Science of Maine he moved into his current role as Operations Manager, overseeing the day to day maintenance and inventory of all the fun sciencey things that make our programs rock. When not making slime in the lab, Jed is brewing at home and working toward opening his own brewery in the Southern Maine region. He believes that no matter what you do it's everyone's responsibility to pass along knowledge and educate.





Taryn Friedman (Lightning Lucy)- Chief Mad Scientist

Co-President & Program Director

“Lightning Lucy” can be seen performing Mad Science Shows and facilitating Science workshops all over Maine! She has been Co-Owner of Mad Science since 2010 with “Nitro Nikki”.  She graduated from Union College in 2002 with her degree in English Literature and a minor in Biology.  Taryn has an extensive background in experiential and environmental education.  She has worked as a wilderness therapy guide with teens at the Summit Achievement Academy in Stowe, ME, a snowboard coach for Gould Academy in Bethel, a kayak guide in Casco Bay for Rippleffect, an environmental educator aboard the Schooner Adventuress in Puget Sound near Seattle, WA, and a direct support professional for teens and adults with special needs at Creative Trails in Portland, and of course a Mad Science Instructor teaching science enrichment programs while also fulfilling her duties as the Program Director of Mad Science.  Taryn has always had a passion for science and loves getting kids excited about chemical reactions, Newton’s Laws of Motion, robots, electricity, and more! 



Nichole Troe (Nitro Nikki)- Chief Mad Scientist, Co-President & Director of Marketing

 “Nitro Nikki” is known as the “Renaissance Women” of the Mad Science Lab. You can find her tinkering in the lab, making cool gadgets, designing the website, leading the strategic planning effort, and even cooking an awesome spread for her Mad Scientist’s! Nichole took over as Co-President of Mad Science of Maine in 2010. She graduated with a BA from Cornell College and will recieve her Leadership MBA from Saint Joseph's College of Maine in 2018. Nichole has a total of 9 years of diverse experience working with children. She worked aboard historic educational schooners teaching cultural history and ecology all the while sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. She has also counseled homeless youth in Portland Oregon, taught English abroad, done Youth and Family Counseling, and developed and taught educational programs for refugees. Roll all of that together and you have got the perfect Chief Mad Scientist! Nichole has always believed in the power of education and the idea that knowledge is power. She loves science because it doesn't just teach us how the world works, but teaches us how to think in this curious world. She is dedicated to Mad Science because it encourages wonder and empowers children to ask questions, seek answers, and then ask more questions so as to develop stronger critically thinking and problem solving skills.


Kinetic Kelsey (Kelsey Franklin) – Marketing Specialist & After- School Program Instructor 

Kelsey hails from Oxford Hills and has worn many hats in her professional and theatrical career.  From being a medical assistant, an emcee, a teaching artist to a marketing specialist, she has enjoyed many wonderful opportunities.  Kelsey’s true passion is performing!  She has been seen on stages all over Maine; singing, acting, and trying to dance!  Oh, and she’s recently found a passion for improv and creates some laughs with Self IMPROVment.  And, that’s not all folks, Kelsey is also Vice President of OHMPAA (Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association) where she performs, produces and even directs. Kelsey has been a teaching artist for several years and is excited to immerse students in the world of science! Kelsey enjoys the science of Anatomy and Physiology - the human body is such an impressive machine!  You can catch Kelsey in the Mad Science Lab during the day working as our marketing specialist and after school teaching our programs!  









Jurassic Jessica (Jessica Antonez) – Birthday Party Specialist and ASP Instructor 

Jurassic Jessica is from Manchester, Vermont but has lived in Maine since getting her BA from the University of New England studying marine biology and environmental science in 2016. She works as an educator at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute during the day where she can combine her love of the ocean with her passion of teaching! Jessica loves to spend her free time outside hiking, kayaking, and exploring around the beach with her dog Molly. 


Atomic Abby (Abby Reuscher) - Birthday Party and ASP Instructor 

      Atomic Abby is a full time substitute teacher in the greater Portland area. She studied chemistry at Haverford College and loves spreading excitement and curiosity surrounding all types of science. When she’s not teaching in schools or for Mad Science she loves baking, puzzles (crossword and jigsaw!), and playing with her cat. 




Sparky Sarah (Sarah Hernu) ASP Instructor 

Sparky Sarah is originally from the land of waffles and fries: Belgium! She holds master’s degrees in medical biology and biochemistry. After a few years in research, she realized her love for educating young minds about science and decided to become a teacher. She taught middle school science in Brussels for seven years before moving to Maine over the summer of 2017. Sarah is a big Harry Potter fan and supports the Green Bay Packers. Sarah is excited to join the Mad Science team and to explore thrilling hands-on activities to demonstrate fascinating scientific concepts.







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