Co-Founders and Directors
Jim Clark: Jim taught biology, AP biology and honors anatomy and physiology at Arroyo High School in the San Lorenzo Unified School District, for 32 years. He was the founder and director for the Academy of Health and Medicine, a small learning community at Arroyo. He is currently serving as the TK-12 district science coordinator, overseeing the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Among many other achievements, Jim is currently on the reading committee for the California Next Generation Science Standards framework, working with Howard Hughes Medical Institute on curriculum development, and serves as a curriculum and classroom specialist for the Knowles Teacher Initiative (KSTF). He is on the board of directors for the California Institute for Biodiversity where he coordinates curriculum and professional development. Jim has received international recognition for his work around growth mindset and classroom culture through KQED Mindshift, as well as on transformative teaching through AAAS (AAAS Spotlight) and UC Berkeley (Transformative Teaching Talk). He was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2008 for Alameda County, and serves on the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education advisory board.
Samantha Johnson: Samantha is currently also teaching biology and AP biology at Arroyo High School, where she is the coordinator for the Health and Medicine small learning community. Aside from being a Project Lead The Way engineering teacher, Samantha is also currently working on curriculum for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and workshops with the California Institute for Biodiversity & David Lukas. She is also on the reading committee for the California NGSS framework. She was recently named as president of the board for the California Institute for Biodiversity (Cal Alive)She has a master’s degree in science education from UC Berkeley.
Bernice O’Brien: Bernice currently teachers biology and chemistry at Bainbridge High School near Seattle, Washington. Before moving to the west coast, she taught earth science and environmental science near Charlottesville, Virginia. She holds a Masters of Teaching in earth science education from the University of Virginia, where sho also studied Environmental Science as an undergraduate. In her current position, Bernice is working with her colleagues to help implement curricular updates aligned with the Next Gen Science Standards. Bernice is a teaching fellow with the Knowles Teacher Initiative. In addition to her work with NGSI, Bernice designs and provides professional development opportunities on behalf of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Knowles Teacher Initiative, and the California Institute for Biodiversity. In those capacities, she is a regular presenter at both state and national science teacher conferences.
Megan Clark: Megan graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Masters Degree in Instruction and Curriculum, as well as a Multiple Subject Credential. She has presented at conferences regarding the integration of Earth and Space Sciences with other sciences and the Arts in Elementary NGSS education. She was also invited and participated in the NSTA Los Angeles Share-a-Thon regarding her work in elementary science education. Megan is passionate about equity in science education, focusing on emerging bilingual students and their access to all standards.
What’s being said about Next Gen Science Innovations:
“Actually doing activities that we can adapt for use [in class] tomorrow.”
“The interactive activities applied directly to the standards! :)”
“Both presenters seem very in touch with the reality of what’s currently going on in the classroom.”
“Now, I have a better understanding what is meant about modeling and how to go about it!”
“The explanation of the Performance Expectations page and breaking down the DCI’s CCC’s and SEP’s [from the Next Generation Science Standards] was the clearest I’ve heard yet.”