Wolbrink’s work is focused on improving science standards implementation efforts in order to help ensure all students receive a high-quality, equitable science education. She supports state and district leaders who are working to develop a comprehensive roadmap for science learning, and helps guide their implementation, including instructional materials and assessment efforts. Additionally, Wolbrink connects educators to evidence-based resources which enable better understanding and evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) design, access top-rated NGSS units, and utilize assessment resources through the management and dissemination of publicly available tools housed on the official website for the NGSS.
Prior to joining WestEd, Wolbrink worked as an Associate Director for the Science Team at Achieve, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving science standards implementation. She helped manage and direct for the NGSS adoption and implementation for states and districts as well as Achieve’s STEM initiatives.
Wolbrink also served as a Legislative Assistant at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where she monitored and analyzed national and state legislation, including education and nondiscrimination policy. Before her policy work, she taught elementary students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.
Vanessa received a Master’s in public policy from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in sociology and women’s studies from University of Michigan.