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Science Leaders Speak: The Unique Challenges of Science Education in a Post-Pandemic World

Monday, January 25, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Science Leaders Speak

Presented by Jim Pellegrino, Ph.D., Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago; Christopher Lazzaro, Ph.D., Director of Science, New Meridian Corporation; Tricia Shelton, Director of Professional Learning and Standards Implementation, NSTA; and Matt Krehbiel, Director of Outreach, OpenSciEd

Sponsored by The New Meridian Science Exchange



The recording will be posted on this page after the live session. 
Get a CE Certificate for this edLeader Panel Learn more

As schools around the country struggle with uncertainty, many states continue their efforts to implement three-dimensional science standards, a difficult process under the best of conditions. Join us for an edLeader Panel to discuss how educators can highlight the value of science education and continue implementing next-generation standards while meeting the challenges brought by COVID-19.

Jim Pellegrino, Ph.D., an education expert from the University of Illinois at Chicago, will moderate a roundtable discussion that will address the current challenges in science education and the critical changes needed to ensure children have the STEM skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.

Our expert panel will offer insight on science education research, curricula, assessment, professional development and policy, including:

  • The implications of distance science education and growing equity gaps
  • The complexities of transitioning to three-dimensional science standards
  • What can be done to keep science education in the local and federal spotlight

Participants will learn what they can do to effect change in science programs today and how they can prepare for the future of science education. This edLeader Panel will be of interest to elementary through higher education school and district leaders, state education leaders, assessment directors, and curriculum directors. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.


Jim PellegrinoAbout the Presenters

James Pellegrino, Ph.D. is a liberal arts and sciences distinguished professor and distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also the founding co-director of UIC’s interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Research Institute. Dr. Pellegrino is the former dean of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. He is also an American Educational Research Association Fellow; a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences; and a past member of the Board on Testing and Assessment at the National Research Council. In 2007, Dr. Pellegrino was elected to lifetime membership in the National Academy of Education. His research and development interests focus on thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. Dr. Pellegrino’s current research is focused on assessment of student learning in multiple areas of mathematics and science that span kindergarten through college.


Christopher Lazzaro

Christopher Lazzaro, Ph.D. is currently the director of science at New Meridian. Dr. Lazzaro has worked in science education for over 15 years, most recently for over 11 years at the College Board on projects ranging from professional development programs for science teachers, the AP Science redesign, the creation of the Science College Board Standards for College Success, as well as working directly with state DOEs across the country on adoption and implementation plans associated with the SAT Suite of Assessments. Prior to his employment at the College Board, Dr. Lazzaro taught high school physics in New York City. Dr. Lazzaro’s research interests include national and international large-scale assessments, design-based research methods in education, science education, research and development of science standards, and the influence of national and state policies on local education. Dr. Lazzaro has earned undergraduate degrees in earth and planetary sciences and physics, a master’s degree in physics education, and a Ph.D. in science policy and education policy from Columbia University.


Tricia SheltonTricia Shelton is a high school science teacher and teacher leader with a BS in biology and an MA in teaching, who has worked for 20 years in Kentucky driven by a passion to help students develop critical and creative thinking skills. Tricia is a 2014 NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award winner for her contributions to and demonstrated excellence in Science Teaching. As a professional learning facilitator and NGSS implementation team leader, Tricia has worked with educators across the United States to develop best practices in the science and engineering classrooms through conference presentations, webinars, coordinating and co-moderating #NGSSchat on Twitter, and virtual and face-to-face PLC work. Tricia’s current professional learning facilitation includes work around the Next Generation Science Standards and helping STEM students develop the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication (including social media and video) and project-based learning. Tricia serves on the NGSS@NSTA advisory board and works as an NSTA Discover the NGSS trainer and NGSS EQuIP Rubric national trainer for Achieve.


Matt KrehbielMatt Krehbiel is the outreach director for OpenSciEd. His professional career began as a high school science teacher and he misses his classroom every day. After teaching high school science for a decade, Matt took on the position of State Science Supervisor for Kansas, where he coordinated Kansas’s role as a lead state in the development of—and one of the first states to adopt—the NGSS. Later, as Achieve’s Science Director, Matt led the development of the current version of the EQuIP Rubric for Science, the NGSS Lesson Screener, and NextGen TIME which were all part of a calculated effort to push the supply and demand sides of the market to develop instructional materials designed for the NGSS. He is a proud past president of the Council of State Science Supervisors and alum of the Board on Science Education (BOSE) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.


To participate in the live edLeader Panel, log in with current version of Google Chrome or install the meeting app prior to the edLeader Panel on your computer, your Apple device, or Android device.  If you have a firewall in your location, you can participate on your mobile device using your cellular data (not your local network).

The edLeader Panel recording will be posted to this page the day after the presentation.

Join the Teaching Next Generation Scientists community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

The New Meridian Science ExchangeNew Meridian is a nonprofit assessment company on a mission to support quality education for all students by fostering deeper learning. Since 2016, our diverse team of assessment design experts have collaborated with classroom educators to develop a better way to assess students and prepare them for the opportunities of tomorrow. New Meridian’s standards-based tests emphasize the skills most important to success: critical thinking, deep understanding and the ability to communicate ideas effectively. New Meridian works closely with states to develop innovative assessment solutions, including the New Meridian Science Exchange. The exchange is a unique solution that allows states to quickly develop high-quality science assessments that are aligned to three-dimensional science standards.

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