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. Blank is a Professor of Science Education at the University of Montana. She
earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with specializations in Science Education
and Environmental Science from Indiana University in 1997. She has taught undergraduate
and graduate courses in science methods and curriculum reform at the University
of Montana since 1998, and received the Most Inspirational Teacher Award in 2001.
She is a former middle and high school science teacher and elementary science specialist.
Her teaching and scholarship reflect her interests in curriculum development, scientific
inquiry, geospatial technology, and teacher professional development. Currently,
she is focused on developing exemplary science curriculum that promotes the role
of argumentation in science knowledge and the use of geospatial technologies as
transformative data collection and analysis tools.
Brunsell began his career as a physical science teacher. In 2000, he left the classroom
to become the director of Space Education Initiatives, a non-profit organization
focused on providing professional development opportunities for teachers. He is
currently an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
and the Excel Center at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Eric completed his
undergraduate degree in physics education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
and a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin
- Oshkosh. He was a doctoral fellow in the NSF funded Center for Teaching and Learning
in the West and completed a doctorate in science education at Montana State University.
Dr. Ruth Burkett, Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of
Central Missouri (UCM), teaches undergraduate courses in elementary school science
methods, biology, physics, classroom management, and educational technology. She
joined the UCM faculty from the University of South Florida (USF) where she earned
her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on instructional technology
and science education. Dr. Burkett has over 20 years experience teaching in elementary
schools of Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. She has experience in informal education
as camp director for environmental and marine science camps in Florida. Dr. Burkett
co-authored "Hey! What're ya thinkin'? Developing teachers as reflective practitioners,"
a chapter in R. E. Yager (Ed.), Exemplary science: Best practices in professional
development. Washington, DC: NSTA Press. She also has several publications
in national and international journals and over two-dozen presentations at international,
national, and regional conferences.
Carolyn Mohr is a science methods instructor for preservice teachers in a graduate
program at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She concurrently works
as a field trip instructor for the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois and
is an online advisor for the NSTA Learning Center. She holds an Ed S in Educational
Leadership from Northern Illinois University, a CAS and M Ed from National-Louis
University, and a BS in biological sciences from Central Michigan University. She
has taught science methods courses for ten years and was a middle and high school
science and math teacher for over 28 years. While she was a middle school teacher,
she chaired regional and state committees for the Illinois Junior Academy of Science
(IJAS), received the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2008 “Those Who Excel”
Award of Excellence, and was honored with her school district’s 2007 President’s
Award. Her areas of interest and research include the legal issues that surround
science safety in the classroom, science literacy, and best practices for teaching
and learning. Carolyn enjoys attending (and presenting at) NSTA conferences.
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