Kirstin Bullington has taught science and engineering for over twenty years. Prior to teaching, she was a health specialist volunteer in the Peace Corps, Togo, where she discovered her passion for education. Kirstin is an alumna of Teachers for Global Classrooms (Senegal), the Transatlantic Outreach Program (Germany), and the Japan-US Teacher Exchange for Education for Sustainable Development. Participation in each of these programs led her to discover that students show greater aptitude and interest in engineering when presented from a relevant global context.
Kirstin is currently the Next Energy Engineering Instructor at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2) in Columbia, SC, where her students design and optimize alternative energy solutions for local and global challenges. Her students and their energy solutions have placed in several national competitions, including Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, Global Solutions STEM Challenge (IREX), and the Biomimicry Youth Design Competition. Their collaboration with a school in Senegal resulted in a modular power apparatus, which was recognized by Special Climate Envoy John Kerry in 2021 and awarded a patent in 2023. Kirstin is the recipient of the South Carolina Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (2013), holds National Board Certification, and was the 2022 South Carolina STEM Educator of the Year.