National Science Teachers Association
How to Maximize Your Participation During the STEM Forum & Expo

Margie Gifford-Hawkins
Margie Gifford-Hawkins Margie Gifford-Hawkins currently teaches science at Winfree Bryant Middle School in Lebanon, Tennessee. While teaching in Lebanon, Margie has launched an after-school Girls Science Club, a student-run TV station, Family STEM Nights, and Community Earth Day events at her school. She has been featured, with her science club, on a PBS News Hour Special and has been named News Channel 2 Educator of the Week.

She has presented sessions at many state, regional, and national science and math conferences. Margie also does educational consulting, conducting seminars on topics ranging from developing inquiry-based science lessons to teaching academic vocabulary, differentiated curriculum development, integrating science and math standards, and a “Best Practices in Teaching Science” seminar geared toward preservice teachers.

Margie has had her research on Academic Vocabulary’s Effect on Low Performing Math Students published by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). She holds a BA in education (MDSS Grades 1-8) and a MA in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

John Quinn
John Quinn started his position as executive director of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with the Baltimore County Public Schools in September 2009. The vision for the department is to inspire, engage, and prepare the next generation to be inventors, explorers, and innovators who will lead U.S. achievement in STEM. Prior to working in Baltimore County, John worked for 31 years with the Howard County public school system as a science teacher, high school principal, science coordinator, and STEM project director. John holds a bachelor's degree in environmental resource management from Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree in technology education from the Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Maryland College Park.

Michael Heinz
Michael Heinz serves as the science coordinator at the New Jersey Department of Education. Prior to joining the department in 2005, he was a middle school science teacher and team leader for a NASA Explorer School. Partnered with NASA, the NASA Explorer School teams seek to acquire new teaching resources and technology tools using NASA's unique content, experts, and other resources—to provide exciting learning experiences in science, technology, and mathematics for students.

Tanisha Wesby
Tanisha Wesby Tanisha Wesby has been employed with the Metropolitan Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools since 1999, as a kindergarten teacher at Goodlettsville Elementary School and currently as a first grade teacher at Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary School. She is also a master teacher mentor for SECME, Inc., providing instructional coaching to elementary teachers for their professional development. A K-12 alliance linking STEM universities with school systems and corporate/government partners, a key goal of SECME is to increase the pool of historically underrepresented and underserved students who will be prepared to enter and complete postsecondary studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce. Her involvement with SECME began as a teacher participant in their summer institutes and has included being a SECME Teacher of the Year finalist in 2009.

Tanisha has also co-authored a children's book with her husband, Kenton Wesby, titled What Do You See When You Look at Me? Her outreach efforts include working to eliminate the achievement gap for underresourced students as a certified trainer for A Framework for Understanding Poverty through aha! Process, Inc. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Tanisha earned her B.S. degree in early childhood education from Middle Tennessee State University, a M.Ed. degree in instructional effectiveness from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a specialist of education degree in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

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