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Learning Scientist - Senior Science Educator

Learning Scientist - Senior Science Educator

Institute for Inquiry
Regular, Full-Time Position

The Institute for Inquiry (IFI) is creating a new hybrid position, a Learning Scientist-Senior Science Educator, to play a leadership role in designing and conducting research to better understand and document key dimensions, strategies, and impacts of IFI’s professional learning programs for teachers with high numbers of second language learners and/or Professional Developers who work with elementary school teachers. With assistance from grant development staff, the IFI Learning Scientist-Senior Science Educator will be responsible for developing and securing grant support for this program of research. This position will be engaged as a core part of the IFI team, involved in all aspects of planning, designing and implementing IFI professional development workshops and institutes. The position requires a researcher-educator with a history of working in close collaboration with practitioners, using design-based research or similar methods involving iterative implementation of educational improvements, informed equally by research and practice. The ideal candidate will be a proactive, highly organized person with excellent science teaching and writing skills. The Learning Scientist-Senior Science Educator 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, whose programming consists of workshops, seminars, forums, teacher research groups, publications and an on-line professional learning curriculum. Programming is tailored to a variety of audiences who serve elementary teachers: professional developers, administrators, teachers, national education reform leaders and museum and university educators. IFI is also collaborating with a local school district to provide professional development and create classroom experiences that integrate science and English Language Development, seeking to make the K-12 STEM Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards productive and accessible tools for teachers of English language learners.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop, in coordination and collaboration with the IFI team and director, a research agenda specific to English Language Development programs and/or PD for professional developers. This work is expected to advance theory, inform program design, and document impacts of the program.
  • Develop research project proposals, with assistance from Exploratorium program and grants development staff, to develop and fund a program of research for IFI. 
  • As part of a team, design, organize, and deliver a variety of inquiry-based workshops and institutes.
  • Develop tools for inquiry-based science activities and learning experiences that are appropriate for elementary educators. This includes written descriptions, video and web-based development and dissemination.
  • Collaborate on the conceptual development and design of new projects.
  • Publish and present research findings in peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences.
  • Develop relationships and projects with school districts, consortia, university and museum personnel.
  • Contribute to proposal development and project reporting.
  • Communicate and represent the vision, goals, and activities of IFI within the museum, to other organizations, and to the professional development field.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in science education or the learning sciences, or equivalent, and five (5) years’ experience providing inquiry-based science professional learning programs for K-5 educators, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Prior work experience focused on elementary school teacher professional development design and/or English Language Development and STEM learning.
  • Deep grasp of and experience with inquiry-based science teaching at the elementary school level required.
  • Demonstrated record of conducting and publishing educational research.
  • Successful track record in grant proposal development, grant reporting, and project management.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of audiences (students, K-6 educators, district leadership, scientists and educational leaders) and participants of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of and experience with current science education reform efforts and federal and state science education policy.
  • 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 in a leadership role on a large NSF or equivalent STEM education project preferred.

How to Apply

This is a full-time, Teacher III exempt, union position that includes benefits. No phone calls, and please do not contact the Institute for Inquiry directly.

Please refer to our Application Procedures for instructions when sending your resume and cover letter.

The Exploratorium is committed to a diverse workforce.