Kenneth Huff is a national board certified teacher in early adolescence science with 22 years of classroom experience. Currently, he is a middle school teacher in the Williamsville Central School District in East Amherst, New York. Mr. Huff serves as a member of his district’s Staff Development Council, and he founded and leads a Young Astronaut Council for fifth- through eighth-grade students. Mr. Huff also taught at Cleveland Hill Schools in Cheektowaga, New York. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Huff is the current president of the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching, a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Teacher Advisory Council, and director at large for professional development for the Science Teachers Association of New York State. Mr. Huff is also a contributing member of the space systems technical committee for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a member of the Committee on Middle Level Science Teaching for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and served as chair of the NSTA Aerospace Programs Advisory Board, where he initiated and led the effort to develop a national position statement on aerospace education. A native of New York, Mr. Huff earned his B.S. and M.S. in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo.
Peter McLaren is the Director of Next Gen Education, LLC. Mr. McLaren was a teacher of science for 13 years at both the high school and middle school levels. He served as science department chair for grades 7–12 for East Greenwich Public Schools in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Mr. McLaren is currently serving as president of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS), an organization of which he has been a member since 2005. As president of CSSS he also serves on the Alliance of Affiliates of the National Science Teachers Association
representing CSSS. Mr. McLaren taught eighth-grade science at Archie Cole Middle School in East Greenwich. In addition to his role as a science teacher, he was also involved as a trainer for several educational technology initiatives such as Project SMART, Rhode Island Teachers and Technology Initiative, and Enhancing Education Through Technology. Mr. McLaren was recognized with the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award (2001) and as the Rhode Island Science Teacher of the Year (1995) by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-sponsored Network of Educators of Science and Technology. Mr. McLaren is also state coordinator for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Rhode Island and has been instrumental in restructuring leadership to reconvene the Rhode Island Science Teachers Association. At the national level, Mr. McLaren has been appointed to a 3-year term as a member of the board of directors for the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education. He is also a member of the Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies Advisory Committee at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. McLaren has a B.S. in secondary education and an M.A. in science education, both from the University of Rhode Island.
William Penuel is a professor of educational psychology and learning sciences in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Professor Penuel began his career in the field of youth development, becoming an expert in program development and evaluation. In his doctoral and early career research, he developed a framework that integrated traditional psychosocial perspectives on identity formation with Vygotskian theories of development. As director of evaluation research at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International, Professor Penuel developed a broad program of education research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Professor Penuel’s current research focuses on teacher learning and organizational processes that shape the implementation of educational policies, school curricula, and afterschool programs. He examines learning and development from sociocultural, social capital, and complex social systems perspectives. His teaching interests focus on research methodologies for the learning sciences, adolescent development, and educational technology. Professor Penuel is the author of more than 60 refereed journal articles and conference papers. He serves on the editorial board for Teachers College Record, the American Journal of Evaluation, and Cognition and Instruction. He served as co-chair (with Susan Jurow and Kevin O’Connor) of the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences in June 2014. He
was previously on the National Research Council’s Committee on a Framework for Assessment of Science Proficiency in K–12.
K. Renae Pullen is a current member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Teacher Advisory Council. She has been an educator in Caddo Parish Public Schools for more than 17 years. Currently, she is the K–6 science curriculum instructional specialist for Caddo Parish. She previously taught both third and fourth grades at Herndon Magnet and Riverside Elementary in Shreveport, and she has been an adjunct professor for Louisiana Technical University (teacher leadership) and Louisiana State University–Shreveport (elementary science methods). Ms. Pullen has received numerous awards and honors, including Walmart Local Teacher of the Year; Caddo Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year; a Fund for Teachers fellowship to study in Spain; a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study the American skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois; numerous grants to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction; and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 2008. Ms. Pullen has served on several local, state, and national committees and presented at numerous district, state, and national workshops and conferences. In 2011, she participated in the White House Champions of Change Event: Women & Girls in STEM. Ms. Pullen has a B.A. in elementary education from Northwestern State University and an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, and she is certified as a teacher leader by the State of Louisiana.
Brian Reiser is a professor of learning sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Dr. Reiser was a member of the National Research Council committees that produced the reports Taking Science to School (2007), which provided research-based recommendations for improving K–8 science education; A Framework for K–12 Science Education (2012), which guided the design of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards (2014), which provides guidelines for NGSS-based assessments. Dr. Reiser has also worked with Achieve, Inc., to provide feedback on the design of the NGSS and on the tools to help states implement the NGSS, and he is collaborating with several state initiatives to design and provide professional development for K–12 teachers to support them in pursuing the reforms in the NGSS in their classrooms. Dr. Reiser’s research examines how to make the scientific practices of argumentation, explanation, and
modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. Dr. Reiser was a co-leader in the development of IQWST (Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology), a 3-year middle school curriculum that supports students in science practices to develop core disciplinary ideas. Dr. Reiser received his Ph.D. in cognitive science from Yale University.
Nancy Butler Songer is dean and distinguished university professor in the School of Education at Drexel University. Her research focuses on preparing all American students to become sophisticated thinkers of science and ways to engage and support complex thinkers of science and to improve science learning in high-poverty, urban, elementary and middle school classrooms. Recent recognition includes election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and selection by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the Promising Educational Technology Award. In 1995, she received a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship from President Clinton, the first science educator to receive this recognition. She was previously on the National Research Council’s Committee on a Framework for Assessment of Science Proficiency in K–12. Dr. Songer earned an M.S. in developmental biology from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in science education from the University of California, Berkeley.