NSTA Virtual Conference

Connecting In-school and Out-of-school STEM Learning and Teaching

Fran Agnone Fran Agnone

Fran Agnone, STEM Program Manager at ExpandED Schools, has been supporting informal science education for almost a decade in New York City. Prior to her current position, she developed and led programming with The New York Botanical Garden and The National Wildlife Federation working with learners of all ages. In her current role, Ms. Agnone manages STEM Educators Academy, a program that fosters collaboration between school day and afterschool educators through the implementation of design-based learning activities. In her role, she supports implementation in over 30 middle schools across the city.

Emma Banay Emma Banay

Emma Banay is the Director of STEM Programs at ExpandED Schools. In this role she oversees STEM initiatives, focusing on providing access to enriched STEM experiences for afterschool youth and their educators, particularly those underrepresented in the STEM fields at large. In addition, the organization’s initiatives provide pathways for pre-service educators of color to enter the STEM teaching profession. Emma also co-facilitates the New York City STEM Education Network. In this role, she works closely with school, community, and external partners to support schools and educators in growing their STEM program quality, pedagogical skills, and strategic partnerships. Emma brings her education and teaching experience to STEM initiatives at ExpandED Schools. Before her current position, she taught elementary and middle school science and coordinated Grow to Learn, the citywide school gardens initiative in New York City.

David Evans David Evans

Dr. David L. Evans is the executive director of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), the world's largest professional organization representing science educators of all grade levels.

Before joining the association staff in February 2013, Dr. Evans served as the Director of the Center for Sustainability: Earth, Energy, and Climate at Noblis, Inc., a Virginia-based not-for-profit provider of science-related, strategic, and technology consulting services to government and commercial entities.

Prior to joining Noblis, Dr. Evans served as the Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where he directed research and education activities and oversaw strategic planning, outreach, fundraising, and hiring for the national museum and several research institutions.

While at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1993 to 2002, Dr. Evans served the organization in several different capacities. In 2001, Dr. Evans led the White House Global Climate Change Initiative, coordinating related activities of some 12 federal agencies. Before coming to Washington, D.C., in the mid-1980s, Dr. Evans was a tenured professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and was a classroom teacher in Media, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Evans's devotion to the science and education community is also evidenced by his involvement in numerous other professional organizations. He has also published extensively for the science and mathematics communities. He has authored numerous scientific publications, contributed to dozens of scholarly journals, and is a reviewer for Science magazine.

Dr. Evans holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied for his teaching certification at Villanova University.

Beth Murphy Beth Murphy

Since January 2019, Dr. Beth Murphy has been the field editor for Connected Science Learning, a joint effort of NSTA and the Association of Science Technology Centers.

A physicist by training, Beth spent six years in higher education before pursuing her passion to support K-12 science teaching and learning. This led her to The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis in 1999 where she served in director-level positions for over 15 years. In addition to contributing to a variety of the museum’s education programs and exhibits, Beth had the opportunity to lead and grow its partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools—including district-wide programs for students, teacher professional development and a teacher in residence program.

In 2016, Beth launched her own business as an education consultant and today works with a variety of organizations to support the STEM learning ecosystem. Her expertise includes fostering collaboration between organizations, teacher professional development, program leadership, program evaluation, and writing about science and STEM education for a variety of purposes. Recent and past clients include NSTA, Science from Scientists, Minnesota Independent School Forum, STARBASE Minnesota, The Bakken Museum, SciMathMN, World Savvy, Minnesota High Tech Association as well as a number of schools and school districts.

Beth holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in physics with a concentration in applied mathematics from Colby College. She serves on the board of directors of Science from Scientists and SciMathMN.

Caroline Nickerson Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson is a Master of Public Policy student at American University with a focus on environmental and climate change policy. She is also affiliated with the UF-VA UNESCO Bioethics Unit, the Christensen Project, the DC Gator Club, and the Commission on Local Debates. Caroline is a Reilly Environmental Policy Scholar and the 2019 Cherry Blossom Princess representing the state of Florida. Caroline manages SciStarter's Syndicated Blog Network, which encompasses the Science Connected, Discover Magazine, and SciStarter platforms, and manages SciStarter's Citizen Science Month program and other programmatic and outreach efforts, including education programs, the Girl Scouts Journey, and more.

Dennis Schatz Dennis Schatz

Dennis Schatz is the president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). He is currently Senior Advisor at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation. He was the founding field editor for the journal Connected Science Learning, a joint effort of NSTA and the Association of Science Technology Centers.

A research solar astronomer by training, Schatz began his career working as an Associate Director of Astronomy and Physics Education plus Assistant Director, Science Activities for the Visually Impaired at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1977 Schatz moved to Seattle to accept a position with the Pacific Science Center. At the Pacific Science Center, Schatz has held a broad range of positions, including Director of the Regional Astronomy Education Laboratory and Vice President for Education.

An NSTA member since 1973, Schatz has contributed extensively to the Association. He was elected to the NSTA board as Director of Informal Science (2015–2018). He also served as the program chair for the 2004 and 1994 area conferences, the conference chair for the 1998 area conference, and worked on several committees. Schatz is also an NSTA Press author and has written several journal articles for the Association.

In addition to his work with NSTA, Schatz is extremely active with other state and national organizations and science initiatives. Throughout his career, he has been honored extensively for his contributions to science and science education.

Schatz earned a B.S. degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a M.S. degree in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Brandon Schroeder Brandon Schroeder

Brandon Schroeder is part of the Michigan Sea Grant team. He serves as Northeast Michigan District Extension Educator for northern Lake Huron coastal communities. In addition to his valuable work involving fisheries science, biodiversity conservation, sustainable coastal tourism, and working with communities to apply science-based knowledge to address Great Lakes issues, he is a passionate proponent of science education and Great Lakes literacy.

Tracy D’Augustino Tracy D’Augustino

Tracy D’Augustino is a Michigan State University Extension 4-H science educator in Alcona County, she works to expand science literacy across the state for youth and adults through both in- and out-of-school time activities. She has worked collaboratively with other 4-H educators to write curricula, including the “Teaching Science When You Don’t Know Diddly-Squat” series and “Inquiring Minds Want to Know” as well as curricula for many 4-H lessons and workshops.

Brandon and Tracy both helped launch the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI), a regional place-based stewardship education initiative. They work with area schools fostering school-community partnerships, providing professional development for educators, and supporting youth in implementing stewardship projects. Since 2009, nearly 19,000 students have engaged as Great Lakes stewards, E-STEM learners and valued community leaders through the NEMIGLSI, which Schroeder helped launch. The work they have been doing for years aligns perfectly to the state of Michigan’s new K-12 Science Standards – another benefit for teachers learning and working with him.

They have both been honored by the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA) as the Informal Science Educator of the Year; Schroeder in 2017 and D’Augustino in 2018. MSTA is a state chapter of the National Science Teaching Association, one of the largest science organizations of its kind in the United States. Its mission is to stimulate, support and provide leadership for the improvement of science education throughout Michigan.

For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org