Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Nancy Hopkins-Evans

Nancy Hopkins-Evans joined BSCS Science Learning as the Associate Director for Program Impact in June of 2022. As a former college chemistry professor, she understands and cares deeply about students having exceptional learning experiences in science. These experiences that leverage students’ communities and cultures support their understanding of science concepts using phenomena and problems to figure out science ideas instead of learning about science through memorization of facts and theories. She has worked in large and small school systems developing and implementing curriculum, professional learning and assessments aligned to a variety of state standards including, the common core state standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards. She presents at conferences and leads professional learning for teachers, principals, directors, and superintendents focused on experiences and activities that support effective teaching and learning for ALL students particularly those from under-served and underestimated communities. She recently served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee to develop the consensus study report entitled, Call to Action for Science Education, Building Opportunity for the Future. She holds degrees in chemistry from Chestnut Hill College and Villanova University and earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Jean Flanagan joined BSCS in August 2019 as a Science Educator and now serves as the Director for Resources for Teaching and Learning. Before joining BSCS, Jean served in a variety of roles within science education nonprofits.

She got her start by taking a role as a Research Assistant at AAAS Project 2061 in Washington, DC shortly after receiving her B.S. magna cum laude in Biology. While there, she had the opportunity to work across multiple NSF- and IES-funded projects, contributing to the development of standards-aligned assessment items and serving as a lead writer on the Toward High School Biology curriculum (NSTA Press), which aims to better prepare students for high school biology by connecting ideas about chemical reactions to the biological phenomenon of growth. She progressed to Research Associate and discovered her desire to be at the interface of research, design, and practical implementation through curriculum development. In 2013, shortly after the Next Generation Science Standards were released, she took a new position with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. There she took a lead role in the planning, design, and development of a new NGSS-designed curriculum series for K-5 that also aimed to broaden access to Smithsonian research, collections, and expertise. In addition, when Achieve convened the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science she served on the first cohort of panelists.

At BSCS she recently led the writing team for BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life, a full year high school biology course that was designed for the NGSS and is grounded in socio-scientific issues. Her current projects and goals focus on the design of instructional materials that explore the roles science education can play in civic engagement and social justice.

In her free time she enjoys hiking on Colorado’s plentiful trails with her husband and dog, collecting too many books, photography, sampling local breweries, and music.

Christopher Wilson, PhD is Senior Research Scientist and Director, Research and Innovation at BSCS Science Learning. He joined BSCS in 2007 from the Center for Curriculum Materials in Science in the College of Education at Michigan State University, where he received his PhD in science education. He also has a Master’s degree in Evolutionary Biology from MSU, and a BS in Zoology from the University of Liverpool in England.

His current research focuses on the assessment of teacher and student learning in science education, the impact of lesson analysis based professional development on teacher and student outcomes, the application of automated scoring techniques to the measurement of teacher PCK and student argumentation, and the development and impact of three-dimensional curriculum materials.

Christopher is currently PI on several current NSF educational research grants, including STeLLA High School (#1503280), Argulex (#1561150), PCKlex (#1437173), and MBER (#1813538). Christopher has published his research in leading journals including the Journal for Research in Science Teaching, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Journal for Research on Educational Effectiveness. He is an active member of the National Association for Research on Science Teaching (NARST), and serves on the editorial board for the Journal for Research on Science Teaching.

Originally from England, Christopher enjoys following Liverpool Football Club, catching up on EastEnders, and arguing about Brexit.

Dr. Lindsey Mohan joined BSCS as a Research Scientist in May 2017. Her expertise is in instructional materials design and earth and environmental science learning.

Prior to joining BSCS, Lindsey served as a faculty member for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. In this role, Lindsey taught courses on science assessment and middle school methods in the Master’s in Education program. She also supervised early career teachers in grades 2-12 in Catholic schools impacting underserved student populations and their families.

Between the time she completed her doctorate studies and returned to educational design work, Lindsey taught middle school earth science in a rural, Title 1 public school in Texas. This experience provided opportunities for Lindsey to put into practice the instructional approaches and strategies she learned about and advocated for throughout her graduate studies. The successes and struggles she experienced as a classroom teacher were transformative in her educational preparation.

Lindsey specializes in student learning and instructional materials design in earth and environmental science. Lindsey has designed resources for teachers, for example, serving as the Climate Education manager at National Geographic Society. This work included developing a series of professional development guides for teachers called the Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides, designing online educator courses in environmental literacy topics, and collaborating with informal science institutions and non-profits on a variety of projects. Prior to her work with National Geographic Society, Lindsey was an integral member of the development team for a carbon cycle learning progression as part of her role with the Environmental Literacy Project at Michigan State University.

In recent years, Lindsey has served as a writer and collaborator on synthesis projects, including Spatial Thinking Concepts and Skills Progression, A Roadmap for 21st Geography Education, Guidelines for Assessing High Quality Instructional Products, and A Synthesis of Math/Science Teacher Leadership Development Programs: Consensus Findings and Recommendations.

Lindsey has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Her dissertation focused on productive discourse in science classrooms.

When Lindsey isn’t working, she spends her free time in the outdoors hiking, kayaking, and sailing with her husband and twin boys.

Jody Bintz, MA, serves as Senior Science Educator, Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, and Director, Professional Learning with BSCS Science Learning. She works primarily in the areas of leadership development and teacher professional learning.

Ms. Bintz has designed and led a variety of programs to develop organizational leadership capacity and enhance the knowledge and skills of professional development leaders in various sites across the country, particularly as related to implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). She directs the BSCS National Academy for Curriculum Leadership (NACL). This work included a six-year partnership with Washington State LASER and involved nearly 30 secondary science leadership teams and 20 state-wide leaders. She served as the principal investigator for a research study to test the influence of the NACL leadership development model on student achievement. Also as a principal investigator, she spearheaded a synthesis study focused on teacher leadership development. Bintz serves as co-principal investigator of an efficacy study of the professional development program, STeLLA (Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis), and its impact on high school biology student learning and teacher practice. With a vision of developing tools and processes to advance the implementation of the NGSS, she leads a project involving collaborators from the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Learning Innovations at WestEd, and Achieve, Inc.

Before joining BSCS, Ms. Bintz served as an instructional services consultant with Loess Hills AEA 13 in southwest Iowa. Her responsibilities included serving on the Iowa Support Team for Schools in Need of Improvement, strategic school improvement and professional development planning, and designing and leading professional development activities with K-12 science teachers focused on curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology integration, and the integration of reading strategies. Ms. Bintz taught high school science and coached in Treynor, Iowa. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa and her Master of Arts degree in Science Education from University of Northern Iowa.

Dr. Zoe Buck Bracey is a research scientist and senior science educator who works across curriculum development, professional development and research at BSCS, with a focus on re-framing the endeavor of science education as a tool for equity and social justice. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in Astrophysics, and received her PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz in science education, working with Professor Doris Ash. She taught across informal contexts for over a decade, including professional tutoring in math, science, Spanish and English, and a year as an astronomy instructor at Astrocamp in Southern California. She assisted with and then solo-taught several courses in education and equity at UCSC, and she has three years of experience teaching at Hartnell Community College in central California, where she designed and taught several inquiry-based, culturally responsive astronomy courses in linguistically diverse classrooms. At BSCS she works across several projects in both supportive and leadership roles, including: as a unit lead and curriculum writer on the OpenSciEd project, and as a co-PI on a grant to close the internship access gap for community college students in collaboration with Hartnell Community College. She is co-chair of the BSCS Equity and Social Justice working group, and organizes the annual BSCS family science nights. Outside of BSCS, Dr. Buck Bracey is a member of the board of directors for the Pikes Peak Observatory, a volunteer for the Pikes Peak Road Runners, a slow runner, an occasional beer drinker, a political activist, and a co-parent of two.