In The News

This prestigious award recognizes and honors an outstanding administrator who, through professional work has demonstrated exemplary support for science education at the school, district, and/or county level. This award honors an administrator whose primary responsibility is outside the area of science instruction.

The award is presented at the NSELA luncheon held at the annual NSELA Leadership Summit. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Jane Steinkamp is an incredible leader of leaders who is a great facilitator, negotiator, listener, and consensus-builder. Jane is the chair of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee science subcommittee. This is a strategic position for the 58 California counties with over 1000 school districts that has oversight as to how NGSS standards are implemented in all of California’s school districts. The science subcommittee is partnering with the K-12 Alliance @ West Ed., the California Science Teachers Association, the California Department of Education, and the California Science Project on the Statewide Roll Outs of NGSS. Through Jane’s shared leadership, a new model of collaboration for professional learning and implementation of standards is now the way science is done in California and impacting other subjects. The Roll Outs provide a two-day professional learning opportunity for district teams to learn about NGSS and share their learning. This powerful model is a great success and has led to the newly developed statewide Community of Practice that brings local leaders from around the state together to solve NGSS implementation issues and share successes.

Jane is also a wonderful leadership mentor. Along with Jane’s ability to motivate and encourage people at all levels of the educational system, her leadership style is shared and participatory.

Past accomplishments include working on a teacher team to develop project-based learning integrated modules, assistant principal, elementary principal, and district assistant superintendent for human resources and instruction. Her leadership provided opportunities for student learning in all academic areas including STEM. Due to STEM’s high priority in her current role as Assistant Superintendent, she provides ongoing support for the STEM group through the construction of a large FabLab that serves her county teachers and students to be exposed to cutting edge resources. Outdoor experiences for students are another priority.

NSELA and Kendall Hunt are proud to recognize Jane Steinkamp’s exemplary leadership as an administrator. She is truly making a difference in science/STEM education in California



This prestigious award recognizes and honors an NSELA member, who through  professional work, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in science education at the school, district, county, regional, and/or national level.

The award is presented at the NSELA breakfast, held during the annual NSTA National Conference. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Pearson.

The 2018 awardee, Dr. Chris Schaben, is a passionate science/STEM education leader who inspires teachers and students. He is highly skilled at inclusive practices, communication, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders to find unique and efficient solutions for solving problems.  His work as Principal Investigator for two grants has moved his district to a student-centered science program. Through Dr. Schaben’s shared-leadership model for the K-12 Comprehensive Science Teaching and Learning Grant, professional learning opportunities are available for K-12 teachers of science, special education, and ESL. Teachers apply for support in learning that will improve science instruction in their classrooms. The teacher learning is fostered by a partnership with a Science Instructional Coach.  About one hundred teachers have participated, some for multiple years.

Dr. Schaben increases opportunities through other projects for staff and students in his district.  As the PI for the Competitions in the Classroom grant, two district high schools participated in a school-wide Student Space Flight Experiments Program, which led to two experiments flying aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor STS-134. A goal of the grant was to incorporate experimental design as a non-fiction and technical writing experience for all students with a competitive high-altitude balloon launch culminating event.  Chris has been actively involved with the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair Inc. for 15 years and is the current President. His leadership has increased student participation in the regional science fair and provides more opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.


From Pinholes to Space Telescopes: Online Professional Development For Teachers

Posted: March 20, 2018

We are pleased to announce an upcoming online professional development opportunity for teachers starting April 23, 2018. Click here to view shareable flyer!

From Pinholes to Space Telescopes: How Telescopes Work takes participants through the basics of what optical systems such as cameras, telescopes, and our eyes have in common. This workshop explores the phenomenon of image formation using simple materials through a scaffolded instructional sequence including pinhole viewers, and lenses. The workshop culminates in participants building their own telescope, a Galileoscope, and receiving a class set of 24 shipped directly to their school.

The manufacturer has stopped producing Galileoscopes, so this is possibly the last opportunity to acquire a class set of these marvelous teaching tools!

Workshop Details:

Live Sessions: Thursdays, April 26, May 3, May 10, and Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 4-5:00pm Pacific / 7-8:00pm Eastern

Where: live sessions via Zoom, discussion forum on Google Groups

Who: Classroom teachers in grades 5-12

Registration: $40 (includes a kit of activity materials, and 24 Galileoscopes)

Click here for more information!

Please circulate information about this opportunity and the attached flyer to the teachers in your network.

If you have any questions, please contact Brian Kruse at


Vernier Emerging Science Education Leader Scholarship (VESELS)

Posted: March 20, 2018

NSELA and Vernier Software and Technology are celebrating their second year sponsoring the Vernier Emerging Science Education Leader Scholarship (VESELS). This ongoing partnership supports six $500.00 scholarships for emerging leaders, one from each of the six NSELA Regions, to attend the annual NSELA Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) from July 9 – July 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Emerging Science Education Leader Scholarship was founded with support from Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez who started the scholarship fund in 2014. The partners also celebrate the past year’s awardees: Sarah Adumat, Anissa Angier, Alfonso Garcia Arriola, Heather Moll, Amy Murphy, and Joseph Simmons.

Click here to learn more!

Award Criteria and Application Process:
The following criteria must be met to apply for the scholarship.

  • Does not need to be a member of NSELA prior to the application. When a candidate applies, must become a member of NSELA.
  • Emerging leader role at the school, district, state or informal level for three years or less. The three-year limit is specific to the leadership role and work for which the candidate is being nominated. Previous leadership roles that are very different are not counted in the three years.
  • Submission of an application packet that includes: resume or vita, personal letter with evidence that illustrates emerging leadership, and a support letter from a supervisor.
  • Agree to work with an NSELA mentor through June 2019. During the SLI, all scholarship awardees will have meetings with the mentor and share how they will apply SLI learning to their work settings. After six months, awardees will reflect on how they are applying their SLI experience in the Navigator newsletter and online with other scholarship awardees and the mentor.

2018 application deadline: April 16, 2018

If you have questions or would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, contact Nancy Kellogg, Awards Chair.

Application Process
For the Summer Leadership Institute, applicants submit the following:

  1. Resume or Vita (maximum of 2 pages) that includes name, position/title, email, work and home phone numbers, work and home addresses, educational record of earned degrees with dates and field of study plus any additional formal education, professional development opportunities, previous work experience, any professional memberships and positions in or contributions to those organizations, and presentations related to science education. Optional: special awards or other forms of professional recognition and publications related to science education.
  2. Personal letter with evidence that demonstrates accomplishments with specific examples that illustrate emerging leadership and how the Summer Leadership Institute would benefit your work (maximum of 2 pages). Include a statement that you agree to work with an NSELA mentor, other scholarship recipients online and in the NSELA Navigator through June 2019. Give one example of what you might contribute to the online learning community.
  3. Support letter from a supervisor that gives evidence of leadership accomplishments with specific examples and why attendance at the Summer Leadership Institute would benefit your work as a science leader (maximum of 2 pages). The supervisor should include his/her work title and contact information.

    The application packet must be submitted as PDF documents to Nancy Kellogg, NSELA Awards Chair. Email the application packet to

Scholarship awardee(s) will be announced by May 11, 2018. Scholarship money will be reimbursed to the awardee(s) at the end of the Summer Leadership Institute.


Free Summer Science PD For Teachers At The National WWII Museum

Posted: March 20, 2018

Real World Science is a weeklong summer seminar for middle school math and science teachers that explores key STEM concepts using real-world WWII examples. 28 teachers from across the country will come to New Orleans to experience hands-on how necessity, knowledge, perseverance and skill lead to inventions, innovation, and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), just like in World War II.

PROGRAM DATES: July 15 - 21, 2018

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The seminar application is open to any 5th-8th grade science teacher (public, public charter, private, and parochial), and who will be teaching a science course to students in the same age group in the 2018-2019 school year.

Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process that will include information on teaching experience, a short written statement, and two letters of recommendation. Two spots will be reserved for qualifying Louisiana teachers. Teachers newer to the classroom are encouraged to apply.
Applications will be accepted from January 8 – March 16, 2018.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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