Decades of research on learning and development shows that learners see the value of science and engineering education when educators connect concepts with lived experiences, cultural ways of knowing, and perceptions. Science and Engineering Education at WestEd broadens access and participation in science and engineering through promising practices that remove systemic barriers and provide localized supports that acknowledge culturally relevant policies, practices, and programming.
We are committed to solving systemic challenges by developing and testing innovative materials, tools, and supports; conducting research and evaluation; and providing services to advance science and engineering teaching, learning, and achievement.
Our team offers a coherent set of timely professional learning and technical assistance services and products that matter for educators, learners, local communities, and the broader research field.
To support improved outcomes in science and engineering education for all students, we:
- Demonstrate cultural responsiveness to our clients
- Seek solutions to educational inequities
- Support innovation and growth in the field
- Collaborate with mission-aligned organizations
- Conduct impactful research and evaluation
- Provide community-focused and actionable program evaluation
Making Sense of SCIENCE Interweaving inquiry-based science with pedagogy to give teachers the chance to investigate complex science as adult learners and make the critical connections to their own classrooms in order to teach students effectively.
SCALE Science Supporting improvements to teaching and learning through the use of innovative, educative, state-of-the-art performance-based assessments.
K–12 Alliance Transforming teaching and learning in science and mathematics. With a focus on all students, we support all levels of the school system, and their impact on the classroom as a unit of change. We are committed to working with all segments of the educational system and its supporting communities.
NextGenScience Supporting educators with the implementation of rigorous science standards across the nation. We bring together expertise in classroom teaching, learning design, science leadership, and policy analysis.
Next Generation Science Assessment Offering expert assistance designing and developing comprehensive next generation science assessments and assessment systems.
STEM Evaluation Providing quality services in formative and summative evaluation to clients conducting a wide range of programs in STEM education.
FABLES Developing and piloting classroom-based assessment resources with accompanying professional learning for elementary teachers.
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- Kirsten DaehlerKirsten Daehler is the Director of Science and Engineering at WestEd. She supports teacher professional learning and research and development closely tied to classroom practices, with an emphasis on equity. As founder and Director of Making Sense of SCIENCE, Daehler develops professional learning with a proven record of increasing student achievement, strengthening classroom practices, and supporting science and engineering implementation.View Full Bio
- Christopher HarrisChristopher Harris is the Senior Director of Science and Engineering Education Research for WestEd’s Science and Engineering team. His research focuses on the design and study of instructional innovations in PK–12 science teaching and learning. He leads large-scale, multiyear, multi-institutional research, development, and evaluation projects and has helped develop scalable approaches to address the Next Generation Science Standards.View Full Bio
- Taunya NesinTaunya Nesin is the STEM Networking and Partnership Director for WestEd. She is the content lead for the revision of the NAEP Science Assessment Framework and supports projects related to science & engineering, math, charter schools, and business development. Nesin formerly served as Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she focused on grants related to the availability, smarter demand, and implementation of high-quality K-12 instructional materials. She began her career as a public school teacher.View Full Bio
- Jenny SarnaJenny Sarna is the Director of the NextGenScience project at WestEd. As a leader of Science and Engineering Education at WestEd, Sarna builds new partnerships and designs strategies to scale tools and resources for science leaders, curriculum developers, and educators. She supports district and agency leaders with planning, implementing, and evaluating science education programs with a focus on equity and access.View Full Bio
- Cathy RingstaffCathy Ringstaff is a Senior Project Director in Science and Engineering at WestEd. She has decades of experience leading mixed-methods research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences. Her research includes investigating literacy, teacher professional development in science, career education, and computational thinking. She has worked on educational evaluations for universities, districts, schools, and foundations.View Full Bio
- Jill GraceJill Grace is the Director of the K-12 Alliance, a California-based Science and Engineering initiative of WestEd advocating for high-quality science instruction for all students. Grace has served as the professional learning and technical assistance provider for the California Next Generation Science Standards K-8 Early Implementation Initiative and was involved in developing the NextGen Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation.View Full Bio
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Implement engineering activities into your elementary school classroom, incorporating the CCSS- Language Arts Standards. Choose from several custom workshops to meet your needs.
Teaching-Learning Collaborative: A Lesson Study to Enhance Student Instruction and Learning in Science
Learn and implement strategies for effective K-12 science teaching and learning based on the quality of student work.
Engage in professional development designed to improve science education for K-12 students, including English learners.