John Yi '03

Every school day provides its own unique set of challenges, and the excitement of interacting with students on a daily basis helps to keep me motivated and passionate about the profession.
John Yi '03

2019 update:John Yi ’03, Teacher Prep alumnus and NJ Millburn High School science teacher, led a group of students from his space exploration course to develop a NASA award winning app.  

The group, Team Mercury, developed and submitted the app  to NASA’s App Development Challenge, a pilot program that is part of the agency’s Next Generation STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative. The Team Mercury app visualized stimulated test data to support NASA’s Orion Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test, an important step in demonstrating the safety of the capsule NASA is developing to carry astronauts back to the moon.

The app was one of two Challenge winners . As competition winners, the students and John were invited to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for an all-expenses-paid five day trip June 2019. During their visit to NASA’s facilities and labs, Team Mercury attended the Ascent Abort-2 flight test.  They also ran their app with actual flight test data and had the opportunity to present their app to the AA-2 engineering team and NASA leadership.

Congratulations to Team Mercury, John Yi ‘03, and Millburn High School on their achievement!


I majored in chemistry and was a part of Teacher Prep, graduating from Princeton in 2003. Upon completing my M.S. in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I returned to Princeton for my student teaching in the fall of 2004. Since then I’ve been at Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ, where I teach (chemistry) and coach (cross country and track). I served as the science department chair for five years, but now I’m back in the classroom full-time. My most recent passion has been developing and teaching an interdisciplinary elective (“Space Exploration”) in which we examine how and why humans explore space.
I love that teaching and coaching provide the opportunity to influence the lives of youngsters in positive and meaningful ways. I’m truly grateful for my own educational experience and the investment that others have made in me, and my hope is that I am able to give back by serving high school students. After 14 years in the classroom, I maintain my passion for teaching chemistry and helping students discover the importance of science in their lives. I still believe that I have the best job in the world, and I wake up every morning excited about the school day ahead!
Teacher Prep played a critical role in my decision to pursue classroom teaching and continues to contribute to my professional growth and development.  I frequently collaborate with Teacher Prep in a variety of ways, and this continued relationship helps me to examine my own practice and further develop as an educator.