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Senior Science Educator/Professional Developer


The Institute for Inquiry (IFI) is seeking a dynamic, collaborative educator with leadership experience and substantial expertise in elementary education, science education reform, and the design and facilitation of teacher professional learning experiences.  As a member of the IFI team, the (Senior) Science Educator/Professional Developer will be involved in all aspects of planning, designing and implementing IFI professional learning workshops and institutes. The position requires a background of close collaboration with practitioners and the ability to shape and lead new and existing programmatic initiatives and partnerships with schools, districts, and other educational institutions. The ideal candidate will be a proactive, highly organized person with excellent science teaching and writing skills. The (Senior) Science Educator/Professional Developer reports to the Director of the Institute for Inquiry.

The Institute for Inquiry is a national professional learning center within the Exploratorium’s Institute for Research and Learning. Its programming focuses on two main strands:  developing inquiry-based professional learning experiences focused on the next generation science education reform efforts, and experimenting with professional learning experiences for creating discourse-rich K-5 science classrooms for linguistically diverse student populations. IFI’s  programs are tailored to a variety of audiences who serve elementary teachers—professional developers, administrators, teachers, national education reform leaders, and museum and university educators—and consist of workshops, seminars, forums, teacher research groups, publications and on-line professional learning curricula and resources. IFI’s work is developed locally at the Exploratorium and disseminated broadly through regional, national, and international partnerships. Recently, IFI has engaged in a state-wide initiative to support county and regional professional learning providers’ efforts to implement the newly adopted California Next Generation Science Standards.



  • Participate in the design and facilitation of a variety of inquiry-based institutes, workshops and seminars for administrators, researchers, professional learning providers, lead teachers, academics, and project leaders involved in science education reform efforts.
  • Collaborate with Institute staff to develop models for practice-based and research-based professional development for teachers and professional learning providers.
  • Develop NGSS-aligned, inquiry-based science activities, resources, and learning experiences that are appropriate for elementary educators.
  • Communicate and represent the vision, goals, impacts, and activities of IFI within the museum, to other organizations, and to the professional development field.

In addition to the essential functions listed above, the senior-level position includes the following:

  • Collaborate with the Institute for Inquiry Director in the conceptual development and management of new programmatic initiatives and projects. This includes developing new relationships and new projects with schools, districts, consortia, universities, and museums.
  • Play a leadership role in the design and facilitation of programming across IFI’s initiatives and projects.
  • Develop project proposals and contribute to project reporting, with assistance from Exploratorium program and grants development staff.



  • Advanced degree in science education or the learning sciences preferred.
  • Experience providing inquiry-based science professional learning programs for K-5 educators and classroom teaching experience (preferably at the elementary level), or knowledge of teachers, schools, and school districts through other experiences; working knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards required.
  • Knowledge about cognitive and socio-cultural research in the domain of scientific teaching and learning; conversant with current science education reform trends, including policy, research and professional learning design.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of audiences (students, K-5 educators, district leadership, scientists, and educational leaders) and participants of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team of scientists and highly experienced science educators.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including weekends and extended hours during periods of intense activity, and travel to workshops and conferences both locally and nationally.
  • Experience using digital media and/or educational technology in the science classroom is preferred.
  • To be placed in senior-level position, candidates must have a PhD and minimum of five years’ experience teaching/providing inquiry-based science professional learning programs for K-5 educators (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in addition to the above, as well as demonstrated project management and leadership skills, including grant proposal development and grant reporting; experience in a leadership role on a large NSF or equivalent STEM education project preferred.



Open until filled.


All new teachers are initially hired on a fixed-term basis during their first teaching year. Re-hire to a regular teaching appointment is based on review of the employee's performance and suitability for the Exploratorium's teaching environment. This is a regular full-time (37.5 hours/week), union position that includes benefits. Please, no phone calls in regards to this job.

The Exploratorium is committed to providing equal employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, genetic information, citizenship, marital status, pregnancy, veteran’s status or any other class protected by applicable law.


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