Jo Anne Vasquez, Ph.D. is Vice President and Program Director of Arizona Transition Years' Teacher and Curriculum STEM Initiatives at the Helios Education Foundation. Jo Anne has been a classroom teacher, district science specialist for Mesa Public Schools, adjunct professor of science education at Arizona State University, and director of professional development and outreach for ASU's Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET). A recognized leader in science education, Jo Anne is a Past President of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), and the National Science Education Leadership Association. She was a Presidential Appointee to the National Science Board, as well as the first and only K-12 educator elected to the governing board of the National Science Foundation. Her distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the advancement of science education at the local, state and national levels has won her numerous awards including NSTA's highest award, the 2006 Robert H. Carlton Award for Leadership in Science Education. She has been named Arizona's Outstanding Educator of the Year and the National Environmental Association's Teacher of the Year.
Michael Comer's dedication to teaching was fostered by his early experiences at Assumption School in Peekskill NY. He carried that passion into his own professional career teaching middle school science. His work with classroom educators providing hands-on training and professional development workshops led to an invitation to work with the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia on improving their science instruction. Michael is coauthor (with Jo Anne) of Developing Visual Literacy in Science K-8 (NSTA Press). Currently he is the National Marketing Manager for STEM at McGraw-Hill and is the proud father to Brett, Toby and Elyse (who also share his passion for learning).
Dr. Cary Sneider is Associate Research Professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He also consults on diverse issues in STEM education, such as youth programs at science centers, educational standards, and assessment. Cary was a contributing writer of A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council 2012), which laid the groundwork for new science standards, and is currently a member of the writing team that is implementing the Framework under the title Next Generation Science Standards. In 2011 he joined the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "The Nation's Report Card." Until 2007, Cary served as Vice President for Educator Programs at the Museum of Science in Boston, and prior to that he served as Director of Astronomy and Physics Education at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California. He has been a recipient of the Distinguished Informal Science Education award from NSTA and in 2003 was named National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.