Bradley alumna named curator for NSTA

November 21, 2013

By Margaret Cipriano ‘15

Nicole Vick, ’13, graduated from Bradley University with a Professional Master of Arts in Environmental Science Education. She has now been selected as curator for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to roll out new national core standards for science as part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The NSTA has played a large part in developing NGSS, and is involved in educating teachers about the new curriculum standards through web seminars, workshops at regional conferences, and hubs through the NSTA learning center.

“I will be evaluating web based resources for their ability to help teachers meet the performance expectations set out in NGSS,” said Vick when describing her role as curator, “My focus is in high school Earth and space science human sustainability topic strand. This topic strand covers 5 performance expectations. I will identify good resources and make comments on how they could be further improved to encompass all parts of NGSS.”

The position as curator is highly prestigious and sought after: of the 650 applicants, only 48 were chosen to be curators for the NSTA. 

“We represent classroom teachers, administrators, professional development trainers, and other educational companies. We are spread out throughout the United States. We will help teachers adjust to the new standards by guiding them in the right direction,” said Vick.

The program, consisting of at least 35 hours of 600-level graduate work, focuses on Environmental Science and related coursework in Mathematics and Technology

“Bradley prepared me for this position by increasing my content knowledge about human impacts and resource use during the Environmental Science Education Master's program,” she said. “The program also stressed the importance of problem based learning and inquiry which are capstones to NGSS. The connections I made with the professors in the program, especially Dr. McConnaughy and Dr. Wolffe, gave me information about participating in the Illinois NGSS adoption committee. Being part of this committee let me get to talk with writers of NGSS and attend one of their training workshops.”