Using the Learning Center as Your e-Textbook with Preservice
Flavio Mendez is the NSTA Learning Center Senior Director at the National Science
Teachers Association. Mr. Mendez has over fifteen years of experience in formal
and informal outreach and education activities, as Education Coordinator for the
Hubble Space Telescope education program, and as Director of two exhibits and professional
development programs for K-12 educators at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore,
At NSTA Mr. Mendez is responsible for the management of the Learning Center's state
and district partnerships and the help desk. He oversees the implementation of the
Center's resources, i.e., SciPacks, SciGuides, Web Seminars, Podcasts, Short Courses,
etc. and the development of the PD tools like My PD Plan & Portfolio, My
Library, My Calendar, My PD Record, etc. Mr. Mendez also
teaches courses in astronomy to pre- and in-service teachers at the University of
Maryland Baltimore County. He is one of NASA's JPL Solar System Educators.
Dr. Christine Royce serves as Professor of Education at Shippensburg University
in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. She also served as District IV director on the NSTA
council, and as Chair of the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy Panel. She taught
middle and high school science, served as the President of the Pennsylvania Science
Teachers Association (PSTA), and as PSTA Convention Chairperson in 2001 and 2005.
She attended Cabrini College for her undergraduate degree, received a master's degree
from Delaware State, and a master's from University of Scranton. Ms. Royce received
her Ed.D. from Temple University.
Dr. Wendy Ruchti is an assistant professor of science and STEM education at Idaho
State University in Pocatello, Idaho where she currently serves in the College of
Education as the Accreditation Coordinator as well as the Assistant Chair of the
department of Educational Foundations. She teaches Elementary Science Methods as
well as other foundational courses for preservice teachers and also serves as an
online advisor for NSTA. She received her BS in Zoology and Secondary Education
in 1993 and then began her education career as a middle level science and mathematics
teacher, most recently at the Pocatello Community Charter School, an Expeditionary
Learning mentor school where deeper learning was the expectation. Dr. Ruchti received
her MS and Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction/Science Education from the University
of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho in 2001 where she was a Presidential Doctoral Research
fellow. She researched online learning and the development of proportional reasoning
in middle school students. Her areas of interest and research are the integration
of literacy in science, and reflection on evidence in emerging and practicing teachers.
Dr. Kathy Sparrow is currently an adjunct professor at Florida International University (FIU), teaching Elementary Science Methods. She previously worked as a middle and high school science teacher as well as the Science Supervisor for Akron Public Schools. She was a Regional Director for SECO, served on the NSTA Board of Directors and was president of the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA). Kathy was also awarded the Outstanding National Science Supervisor Award in 1999.
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