Science K-12 Essentials Forum

Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions

This event occurred on January 19, 2022 5:00 PM EST.
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These are turbulent times for science education. “Science denial” and misinformation, political controversy, and equity issues bedevil the field at a time when scientific solutions are urgently needed to contain COVID-19 and stave off climate change. This online event focuses on how to handle science controversy in the classroom and ways to make science relevant for students of color, who often don’t see themselves reflected in the world of science.

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3:00pm ET

Welcome and Introduction

3:15pm ET

Panel discussion: Toward Real, Reasoned, and Relevant Science Learning

4:00pm ET

Industry Perspective: Harnessing the Power of NGSS-Aligned Science Assessment To Create the STEM Leaders of Tomorrow

4:10pm ET

Fireside Chat: What Can Teachers Do About Science Denial?

4:35pm ET

Summing Up: The State of Science Learning

Sponsored by

Nina Hike
Science Teacher Chicago Public Schools
Nina Hike’s passion for teaching science for 26 years in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) developed from her natural curiosity cultivated by her parents and CPS science teachers. However, she knows that race and racism are an inextricable part of teaching and learning. So she started the Pushing Praxis podcast with a colleague and redesigned her chemistry curriculum to be culturally relevant to focus on taking concrete action to transform power, racism, and acculturation in her classroom. As a result, Nina Hike was named one of three finalists from Illinois for the 2021 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, or PAEMST, the nation’s highest honor for STEM teachers. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a Master’s in Secondary Education from DePaul University. She’s currently a Science Education Ph.D. student at the UIC and a Master Teaching Fellow with Project SEEEC – Science Education for Excellence and Equity in Chicago. Nina’s research interest is new teachers’ lived experiences and how race and racism shape their science identities, pedagogy, and instructional practices while teaching Students of Color.
Barbara Hofer
Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and Professor of Psychology Emerita Middlebury College
Dr. Barbara Hofer is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at Middlebury College and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, with a certificate in Culture and Cognition, and an Ed.M. in Human Development from Harvard University. She is the recipient of the Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (with Paul Pintrich) and the McKeachie Early Career Teaching Award from the American Psychological Association. She has published several dozen articles and book chapters, has served on multiple editorial boards, and co-edited the book Personal Epistemology: The Psychology of Beliefs about Knowledge and Knowing, and co-authored the books The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) while Letting Them Grow Up and Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It (with Gale Sinatra). Her research on epistemic cognition in adolescence has been funded by a National Science Foundation grant from the Developmental and Learning Sciences area.
Chris Lazzaro, Ph.D.
Director of Science Programs New Meridian
Chris is the Director of Science Programs at New Meridian Corporation. He has worked in science education for 15+ years, most recently for over 11 years at the College Board on projects ranging from professional development programs for science teachers, the AP® Science redesign, the creation of the Science College Board Standards for College Success, as well as working directly with state DOEs across the country on the adoption and implementation plans of science assessments. Prior to his work on science assessments, Chris taught middle school earth science and chemistry, as well as high school and college physics courses, in New York City. He has also served as a Science and Mathematics Item Review Committee (SMIRC) member for the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) on the 2015 and 2019 administrations. Chris has undergraduate degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Physics, a Master’s degree in Physics Education from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Columbia University.
Curt Newton
Director MIT OpenCourseWare
Curt Newton is dedicated to community and action for the common good, focused on open education and climate justice. As a volunteer En-ROADS Climate Ambassador, Curt Newton facilitates climate solutions workshops and role-playing games using the online En-ROADS climate simulator produced by Climate Interactive. He’s also a citizen climate justice advocate in Boston MA, a leader in 350 Massachusetts, and lives in a net-zero energy retrofit of of 110 year old house that demonstrates how older buildings can be made sustainable. Professionally, Curt is Director of MIT OpenCourseWare, which supports millions of learners and educators around the world with freely shared materials from thousands of MIT classes, and for 20 years has helped build the global open education movement.
Ann Reid
Executive Director National Center for Science Education
Ann Reid believes that science is for everyone. As the executive director of the National Center for Science Education, Reid works to ensure that what is taught in science classrooms and beyond is accurate and consistent with the best current understanding of the scientific community. Prior to becoming NCSE executive director, Reid worked as a research biologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where she was responsible for sequencing the 1918 flu virus. She also served as a Senior Program Officer at the NRC’s Board on Life Sciences and as director of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Gale Sinatra
Professor of Psychology and the Stephen H. Crocker Professor of Education University of South California’s Rossier School of Education
Dr. Gale Sinatra is a professor of psychology and the Stephen H. Crocker Professor of Education at the University of South California’s Rossier School of Education. She is an expert on climate science education, evolution education, learning theory, knowledge construction, and conceptual change learning, among other topics. Her recent research focuses on understanding the cognitive and motivational processes that lead to successful learning in science, including the role of motivation and emotion in teaching and learning about controversial topics. Sinatra has served as a co-principal investigator for National Science Foundation grants for improving science teaching, is the past editor of the journal Educational Psychologist, and recently served as vice president of the learning and instruction division of the American Educational Research Association.
Ileana Najarro is a reporter for Education Week covering race and opportunity in schools across the country.
Stephen Sawchuk is an assistant managing editor for Education Week, leading coverage of teaching, learning, and curriculum.
Sarah Schwartz is a reporter for Education Week who covers curriculum and instruction.
Sarah D. Sparks covers education research, data, and the science of learning for Education Week.
Madeline Will is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession.
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