2012 PDI Presenters
Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan
Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan are the authors of NSTA's award-winning series Picture-Perfect Science Lessons and the co-authors of the Teaching Through Trade Books column in NSTA's elementary journal, Science & Children. Both classroom veterans, Karen and Emily have combined their love for children's literature with their enthusiasm for teaching science and have created a method of teaching that integrates reading comprehension strategies into science lessons through the use of picture books. Karen is currently the elementary science curriculum leader for Mason City Schools and Emily is a full-time consultant for Picture-Perfect Science, LLC. Karen and Emily enjoy facilitating Picture-Perfect Science workshops nationwide.
Joey Rider Bertrand
Joey Rider-Bertrand is a curriculum supervisor for secondary STEM education for Lower Merion School District, a high-performing public school district near Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Rider-Bertrand leads teachers and administrators in district-wide curriculum and assessment design and implementation, profession learning, and STEM initiatives. An experienced teacher of students from preschool through graduate school, district administrator, and professional developer, she has led the refinement of curricular programs, facilitated district curriculum audits, and trained teachers and administrators in integrative STEM strategies. In addition, she is the lead author of ITEEA's Engineering byDesign TEEMS Integrative Curriculum for Elementary STEM.
During her time teaching at the early childhood and elementary level, Ms. Rider-Bertrand taught students in preschool, pre-Kindergarten, elementary gifted classes, fifth grade, and math support. She also served as a science and math specialist at the elementary level. After 10 years teaching the youngest learners, she moved to the secondary level to teach science and technology. In this capacity, Joey has taught high school students about the physical and environmental sciences. As a graduate level educator, she has taught courses in science education, technology education for science teachers, and an introduction to STEM education.
Ms. Rider-Bertrand's administrative experience includes serving as a K–12 coordinator for science and technology education for six years in Manheim Township School District in Lancaster, PA, and her current position with Lower Merion.
Outside of public school service, Ms. Rider-Bertrand has provided professional service to numerous local organizations, has served on statewide committees, and has presented at state and national conferences.
She has received a number of teaching honors including in 2006, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. While Ms. Rider-Bertrand draws upon her administrative background to lead STEM curricular projects and initiatives, it is her experience as a classroom teacher that drives her vision for improving STEM education. She has firsthand knowledge of the tremendous pressure that teachers feel and schools face in increasing student achievement. This understanding, combined with her skill as a curriculum leader, is a blend that educators find compelling and credible.
Donna Cleland is the Director of Professional Development of the 21st Century Center for Research and Development in Cognition and Science Instruction. Her work over the past thirty years includes teaching science at various levels across the K–16 spectrum and offering professional development for teachers across those levels. She developed workshops on inquiry and on formative assessment as part of an MSP which served 12 universities and 46 school districts in the Greater Philadelphia region. She founded a consortium (SEPARSI) to support inquiry-centered elementary science teaching in nine local school districts. Ms. Cleland works regularly with the Department of Education in Pennsylvania and has worked nationally with LASER institutes and presentations for the NRC and at NSTA. Ms. Cleland holds a BA in Biology from Bucknell University and Master's in Science Education from Widener University.
Kathy DiRanna is the statewide director of WestEd's K–12 Alliance, a professional development organization focused on improving science education grades K–12 through content, instructional strategies, assessment and leadership. She has extensive experience having been served as a PI or Project Director for several NSF funded projects including the California Systemic Initiative, the Center for the Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CAESL) and Science Partnerships for Articulation and Networking (SPAN). Ms. DiRanna helped shape California's science reform efforts for the past 25 years and continues to be an advocate for the reform efforts through the California Mathematics and Science Partnership Program. Nationally, Ms. DiRanna has served as the Mentor Coordinator for the National Academy of Science and Mathematics Education, co-developed the professional development design of the BSCS SCI Center, FOSS Leadership Academy, and the Using Data Project, and has provided technical assistance to programs like the Washington University St. Louis MSP program. She serves on a variety of advisory boards, has been a consultant on instructional materials and multi-media productions, is a featured speaker at state and national conferences, and served as the Program Coordinator for NSTA's 2006 National Conference. She is the co-author on several publications, including Assessment-Centered Teaching: A Reflective Practice and A Data Coaches Field Guide: Unleashing the Power of Collaborative Inquiry and a chapter in Professional Learning Communities for Science Teaching: Lessons from Research and Practice, Ms. DiRanna has received awards including the Cal Alive Educator-of-the Year; WestEd's Paul Hood Individual Award and Paul Hood Team Award for making significant contributions to the field, and the California Science Teachers' highest honor, the Margaret Nicolson Award for distinguished service to science education.
Arthur Eisenkraft is the Distinguished Professor of Science Education, an affiliate Professor of Physics and Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. For 25 years, he taught high school physics and was a 6–12 science coordinator. He is past president of the National Science Teachers Association. He served on the content committee and helped write the National Science Education Standards of the National Research Council and has served on other NRC committees resulting in the reports How People Learn, Tech Tally, America's Lab Report, and Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills. He also participated in the creation of the NAEP Frameworks for 2009-2019, the College Board Science Standards for College Success and the NRC Framework for Science Education. He is project director of the NSF-supported Active Physics Curriculum Project that is introducing physics instruction for the first time to all students and leading a similar effort with Active Chemistry. He is chair and co-creator of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards, involving 15,000 students annually. In 1993, he was Executive Director for the XXIV International Physics Olympiad after initiating the U.S. involvement in the program and serving as the academic director of the United States team for six years. Eisenkraft's publication Quantoons is an outgrowth of work done in Quantum, a physics magazine for high school students and a collaborative effort of the United States and Russia. He was also a consultant for the award-winning ESPN SportsFigures.
His current research projects include investigating the efficacy of a second generation model of distance learning for professional development; efforts associated with the Boston Science Partnership (an NSF supported MSP) and assessing the technological literacy of K–12 students.
Eisenkraft has received numerous awards recognizing his teaching and related work including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the American Association of Physics Teachers Distinguished Service Citation for "excellent contributions to the teaching of Physics" as well as the Millikan Medal, the Disney Corporation's Science Teacher of the Year in their American Teacher Awards program, and the Distinguished Service To Science Education Award of NSTA and the Robert Carleton Award. He is a fellow of the AAAS, holds a patent for a laser vision testing system and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Rennssalaer Polytechnic Institute.
He has testified before Congress, been featured in articles in The New York Times, Education Week, Physics Today, Scientific American, The American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher and has appeared on The Today Show, National Public Radio (NPR), and many other radio and television broadcasts.
Betsy Rupp Fulwiler
Betsy Rupp Fulwiler is the developer and implementer of the nationally recognized Expository Writing and Science Notebooks Program, a component of Seattle Public Schools' K–5 Inquiry-Based Science Program (an LSC funded by NSF) and author of Writing in Science in Action: Strategies, Tools, and Classroom Video (Heinemann, 2011) and Writing in Science: How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning (Heinemann, 2007), which she wrote as part of an NSF grant. She has presented at regional and national conferences and consults both regionally and nationally in relation to connecting science and literacy. For over a decade, she has been an elementary science coach. Prior to that, she was an elementary classroom teacher and a reading specialist in the Title One program in Seattle Public Schools. Before becoming a teacher, she was an editor and has masters degrees in English and in teaching.
Connie Hvidsten joined BSCS as a Science Educator in January 2011. She is currently a professional development leader in Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA), a research-based professional development project working to improve science teaching in upper-elementary classrooms. She is also part of a BSCS team developing curriculum for the National Institutes of Health that is designed to help K–12 students understand type 2 diabetes and the dietary and lifestyle choices that will help reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes over their lifetimes.
Before joining BSCS, Connie worked as a professional developer and project coordinator with the Sacramento Area Science Project and the Sacramento State Center for Math and Science Education. She served as Science Curriculum Specialist for the Sacramento County Office of Education and spent 13 years as a middle school science teacher with the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Connie has a B.S. from Washington State University in Environmental Science. She is completing her doctorate at the University of California, Davis, in Science Education. Her research focuses on model-based reasoning as a practice common across the scientific disciplines and as a productive pedagogical tool in science classrooms, as well as studying the degree to which teachers take up modeling practices after an intensive two-year program of professional development and classroom implementation.
Paul Numedahl, Ph.D., is a science educator who serves as Products and Services Lead with BSCS. He holds degrees in biology and science education from the University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa respectively. Prior to joining BSCS in the spring of 2008, Dr. Numedahl taught secondary school science in both urban and rural school districts and was a district level administrator. In addition, he has held both visiting professor and assistant professor positions in science education at the college level.
Post-secondary experience includes teaching both undergraduate and graduate level education courses and research in the field of science education. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Numedahl has been involved with numerous externally funded professional development projects for elementary and secondary science teachers. His early work centered on secondary math and science teaching in rural school districts and involved the integration of math and science instruction via a problem-solving pedagogical model. Most recently, Dr. Numedahl was involved with Science Teacher Enhancement for the Pikes Peak Region (STEP-uP) project. This eight-year initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on science education reform in five urban school districts. Since the project's inception, he was extensively involved with the development and facilitation of institutes and courses designed to substantially enhance science content and pedagogical knowledge of practicing teachers.
Dr. Numedahl has a broad range of scholarly interests that include the areas of teacher beliefs concerning science as a discipline and the teaching of science. Consequently, he has presented papers on teaching beliefs and conceptions at various national conferences including the Association of Science Teacher Educator (ASTE), Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), and the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Secondary interests include effective instructional approaches that explicitly teach and infuse the nature of science into science curriculum and the influence such methods have on student perceptions of the scientific endeavor and content area understandings.
Thomas T. Peters
When it comes to STEM education, Tom Peters is a change maker. Tom facilitates change by supporting schools and organizations in becoming more effective environments for thought, collaboration and inquiry. STEM education, when executed well, opens the floodgates of interest and innovation for new generations of thinkers and doers.
As the Executive Director of South Carolina's Coalition for Mathematics and Science (SCCMS), Tom continues a tradition of improving STEM education that began in 1994 with the National Science Foundation funded, South Carolina Statewide Systemic Initiative. SCCMS is an action and advocacy organization that sustains human and economic development by building networks of business/industry, government and educators to accelerate student learning and literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Redefining South Carolina's statewide system of support for STEM educators through the S2TEM Centers SC initiative offers a unique environment for Tom's restless energy and high expectations. Together, S2TEM Centers SC and SCCMS will create 100,000 new success stories in student learning in South Carolina classrooms!
Tom is a recognized leader in STEM education and is a recipient of the National Science Education Leadership Association's 2010 Outstanding Leader in Science Education award. He has applied his instructional, scientific, and management expertise in the classroom, in a district-level administrative position and in a variety of settings as a professional learning facilitator for groups and individuals.
Anne Tweed, a Principal Consultant with the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) in Denver, Colorado, also serves as the Associate director of the North Central Comprehensive Center, which serves a five-state region. Her work at McREL is research based and includes ongoing professional development workshops in the areas of assessment systems, effective science instruction, formative assessment, high-quality instructional practices, teaching reading in content areas, analyzing instructional materials and curricular audits. In her role as associate director of the North Central Comprehensive Center, she leads project activities that build the capacity of state education agencies through resource dissemination, group facilitation, building infrastructure and networking, planning and needs assessment, developing solutions that are part of statewide systems of support and revising tools and templates that support schools in need of improvement. Additionally, she is a co-principal investigator on an NSF DRK–12 project that supports implementation of nanoscale science and technology in secondary classrooms.
Tweed is a past-president of the National Science Teachers Association (2004–2005). A veteran high school science educator and department coordinator, she spent the majority of her 30-year teaching career with the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Tweed earned an M.S. degree in botany from the University of Minnesota, a B.A. degree in biology from Colorado College, and a teaching certificate from the University of Colorado. In addition, Tweed chaired the life science program planning team revising the 2009 NAEP Framework for Science. Tweed has been recognized for her work in education and has received the Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished High School Science Teaching Award from NSTA, and is a state Presidential Award honoree. She has published many articles, co-authored several books, and given more than 250 presentations and workshops at state and national conferences.
Dr. Bonnie Wood received her 1968 BA in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College in Massachusetts followed by a 1975 PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University Medical College Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Biology at the California Primate Research Center in Davis, California, she held a variety of positions before joining the faculty at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in Northern Maine.
Her research focus is reform of science pedagogy and, among other changes in her own classes, she erased the arbitrary boundary between "lecture" and laboratory. She currently teaches all of her courses using "lecture-free teaching," a term she coined to describe her classroom style. Over the years Wood has published articles in the Journal of College Science Teaching and The American Biology Teacher as well as chapters in several books. Her 2009 NSTA Press book entitled Lecture-Free Teaching: A Learning Partnership Between Science Educators and Their Students organizes all of her thoughts about science education reform between two covers. Using her book as a guide, she leads workshops around the U.S. and internationally.