Welcome by Education Development Center, Inc. and National Science Foundation Opening Addresses


Barbara Brauner Berns, Senior Project Director, Education Development Center, Inc.
Barbara Brauner Berns is a senior project director at EDC, where she focuses on science education with an emphasis on capacity building, curriculum implementation, state policy, and systemic change. She is PI of CADRE, the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, an NSF-supported resource network serving more than 300 STEM education researchers and developers from NSF’s DRK–12 program. She has also established—with an NSF and EDC team—STEM Smart, an initiative designed to disseminate successful STEM research and evidence-based practices. Previously, Berns held leadership positions with EDC’s Center for Science Education and its Center for Science Curriculum Dissemination and Implementation. She co-edited the book Making Science Curriculum Matter: Wisdom for the Road Ahead and has contributed to diverse policy and research briefs. Before joining EDC, she was a senior policy fellow at the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Northeastern University. She has held planning, policy, and development positions with state and local educational agencies, universities, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Berns received BA and MA degrees from Boston University.

Evan Heit, Director, Division of Research and Learning, Directorate of Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation
Evan Heit is director of the Division of Research on Learning in the Education and Human Resources Directorate of the National Science Foundation. Heit’s academic background is in cognitive science. He has published numerous papers on learning and cognition by adults and children, involving experimentation and computational modeling. His research on concept learning, memory, scientific and informal reasoning, metacognition, math anxiety, and neuroscience approaches to reasoning is particularly relevant to his work at NSF. Heit is visiting NSF under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act program. He is a professor the University of California, Merced, where he was a founding faculty member. At UC Merced, he served in various roles such as graduate group chair, planning and budget committee chair, and faculty senate chair. He was previously a faculty member at the University of Warwick in the UK. He holds a BSE in Computer Science and Engineering and a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Psychology from Stanford University.

Trish Williams, Member, CA State Board of Education
Trish Williams was appointed to the CA State Board of Education in 2011 and reappointed in 2015. She served as vice president of the Board in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, she became a Board liaison and lead on CA’s NGSS and committed to working closely with the national and state science leadership throughout the standards adoption and implementation process. Under her leadership, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the CA NGSS in 2013. To ensure policy coherence through the adoption process, Williams attended all meetings of the CA curriculum framework committee, and she regularly weighs in on the development of a CA new state summative test for science. In an informal Board role, she helped to conceive of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative and assisted with brokering funding for the participation of eight school districts and two charter management organizations. In October 2015, she was selected by the California Science Teachers Association as the first recipient of their Christine Bertrand Advocacy Award, given for “demonstrating a commitment to quality science education in CA going beyond expected levels of involvement.” Most recently, Williams has broadened her Board of Education STEM leadership by becoming the first-ever SBE lead for expanding and diversifying K-12 computer science education in CA. This new role enabled her to assist in strengthening computational thinking and engineering design practices in CA’s new NGSS curriculum framework. Before being appointed to the State Board, she served 19 years as the Executive Director of the nonprofit EdSource. Williams has a Master’s in Public Policy.