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Jennifer Self

Jennifer Self is a Senior Research Associate in WestEd’s Science and Engineering team and is the Science Review Lead of the NextGenScience project.

Self leads NextGenScience’s efforts to deepen understanding throughout the education field of the features vital to materials designed for today’s science standards. She manages the processes for instructional materials reviews and helps developers and educators build capacity to design, evaluate, and use high-quality instructional materials. She also leads efforts to disseminate resources and tools nationwide to support the implementation of science and engineering standards.

Immediately prior to joining WestEd, Self worked with several international organizations to promote research-based approaches to STEM education in developing countries. This work included the development of a framework for integrated STEM education for UNESCO. She also initiated school improvement programs in refugee communities in Malaysia, resulting in long-term changes to school culture and teaching practices.

Previously, Self served as the Director of Instructional Support for Science at Achieve, where she supported state and district implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and other standards. Prior to joining Achieve, she led the development of the Smithsonian’s Center for Building Awareness of Science Education and served as its director for four years at the National Science Resources Center. Through this work, she partnered with states and districts to implement science education systems reforms.

Self graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center.