Science Peer Review Panel

What is the Science Peer Review Panel?

The Science PRP is an elite cohort of educators from across the country with expertise in the NGSS and the EQuIP Rubric for Science that reviews free and publicly available lessons and units to determine the extent to which they are designed for the NGSS.

The Science PRP was launched by Achieve in 2016 to address the issue of insufficient and inadequate exemplars of science instructional materials designed for the NGSS. In April 2020, management of the Science PRP transitioned with the Achieve science team to a new project, NextGenScience. The Science PRP reviews materials that are free and publicly available and provides independent, third-party feedback to developers. When materials are highly rated, they are shared as Quality Examples of NGSS Design and top-rated materials are awarded the NGSS Design Badge.  

Since its launch in 2016, the Science PRP has reviewed over 300 science instructional materials encompassing all grade levels and disciplines.  

The science PRP is now accepting submissions of free and publicly available middle school science instructional materials designed for the NGSS.

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Fill out this form to request more information about:

  • Reviews for free and publicly available K-5 and HS science materials
  • Reviews for commercial and proprietary K-12 science materials

To learn more about the Science PRP, see the Peer Review Panel FAQ.

NextGenScience thanks Bayer CorporationBill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chevron for their generous support of the Peer Review Panel for Science.

 
 
Want to learn more about the Science PRP? Click on the questions below to find out more:

How are Science PRP members selected and developed?
How are instructional materials reviewed via this process?
Why is this work important?
How do I submit a lesson or unit for review?
Where are Examples of Quality NGSS Design Posted?
How do I know when something has received the highest rating from the PRP?
Who serves on the Science PRP?

 

How are Science PRP members selected and developed?

In the Science PRP's first year, Achieve selected 39 peer reviewers from nearly 600 initial applications in a two-stage, rigorous application process that revealed applicants' expertise in the NGSS, in applying the EQuIP Rubric for Science to lessons, and in producing feedback that was clear and usable by others. The reviewers were selected to make sure they could represent expertise across every grade band and science domain and bring a wealth of practical teaching experience to the review process.

In its second year, the Science PRP expanded from 39 to 51 educators after another rigorous application process, with 38 members staying on the Science PRP from the first year.

 

How are instructional materials reviewed via this process?

The Peer Review Panel for Science review process builds on the well-established process the Mathematics and English Language Arts Peer Review Panel used to identify high quality examples in those content areas.

When a lesson or unit is submitted to the Science PRP, the following happens:

  1. A team at NextGenScience applies the NGSS Lesson Screener to the submission, and those that meet the preliminary qualifications move to the next round to be reviewed with the full EQuIP Rubric. If the materials don’t pass this initial screen, the submitter receives confidential feedback and is encouraged to revise and resubmit

  2. The approved materials are then assigned to members of the Science PRP with appropriate content and grade level backgrounds. Each reviewer produces an independent review of the materials by using the EQuIP rubric.

  3. The assigned Science PRP reviewers jointly write a consensus report, including detailed, criterion-based feedback and suggestions for improvement.

  4. Highly rated materials are posted publicly online along with the Science PRP’s consensus feedback. If materials are not rated highly, the submitter receives confidential feedback and is encouraged to revise and resubmit. Even if the submitter receives the second highest rating, they are encouraged to revise and resubmit in order to be awarded a digital badge.

It should be noted that the criterion-based reviews provided by the Science PRP are meant to be constructive and in the spirit of continuous improvement. All submissions receive feedback regardless of their rating and confidentiality will be ensured for those that are not ready to be shared publicly.

 

Why is this work important?

Research shows access to high-quality instructional materials is incredibly important for effective teaching and learning. (See Achieve’s two pager on the importance of high quality instructional materials and the research to back it up.)

The work of identifying concrete examples of high-quality lessons and units accomplished by the Science PRP helps K-12 science education in the U.S. in several ways:  

  • It helps teachers, schools, and districts understand more about what the NGSS look like in practice.  

  • It helps authors and curriculum developers understand the targets they are seeking as they produce materials.  

  • It helps articulate the collective knowledge and insight of the field about what constitutes being designed for the NGSS.  

  • It provides a robust learning activity for those involved and those who read and review the products of this work.

 

How do I submit a lesson or unit for review?

To submit middle school science instructional materials to the PRP for review, fill out this form.

 

Where are Examples of Quality NGSS Design Posted?

Lessons and units that are rated by the PRP as Examples of High Quality NGSS Design, Examples of High Quality NGSS Design, If Improved, or identified as Quality Works in Progress will be publicly posted along with the EQuIP criterion-based feedback on the examples of quality NGSS design page so that all educators can benefit from these materials.

If materials don’t have a creative commons license, a link to the appropriate website is posted instead.

 

How do I know when something has received the highest rating from the PRP?

We have created an NGSS Design Badge that is awarded to materials that receive the highest rating, Example of High Quality NGSS Design. The badge can be displayed on the website of the individual, group, school, district or organization that developed the lesson or unit.

Developers who receive the digital excellence badge agree not to extend the claim of NGSS design beyond the specific lesson or unit as it was reviewed. Those developers must also agree to post the EQuIP feedback along with the reviewed materials. We hope this change will increase the visibility of the highest quality materials and encourage developers to revise and resubmit in order to be awarded the badge.

 

Who serves on the NextGenScience PRP?

The following is a list of all current peer reviewers (last updated July 2020):

David Allen, Dean of K-12 Science Curriculum, Rockford Public School District 205, IL

Kimberley Astle, Learning Design Specialist: K-12 Science, Evergreen Public Schools

Jennifer Brooker, K-12 Science Supervisor, New York

Jeanane Charara, Elementary Science Resource, Dearborn Public Schools, MI

Kathy Gill, Retired Teacher, Davis Joint Unified School District

Debbie Gordon, Elementary Science Specialist and Project Director for K-12 CA NGSS Early Implementers, Palm Springs Unified School District

Justin Harvey, Physics Teacher, Dacula High School

Amy Hilliard, Lead Teacher, Western Heights Middle School, Washington County Public Schools

Lori Henrickson, Secondary Science Project Facilitator, Clark County School District

Alvin Lin, Resource Teacher, Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area, HI

Jacqueline (Jacqui) Lovejoy, 5-8 Science Specialist, Bentonville Schools

Edel Maeder, District Science Coordinator, Greece Central 

Emily Mathews, Senior Program Coordinator, Northwestern University

Amy Sandgren, Science Education Consultant, NextGen Consulting

Jesse Semeyn, Science Instructional Coach, District U46, Elgin, IL

Marshall Hunter II, General and Regents Physics, Greece Arcadia High School

Nelly Tsai, 7th Grade Science Teacher & Secondary Science Mentor, Irvine Unified School District

Kimberly Weaver, STEM Coordinator, Olympic Educational Service District 114

Barbara Woods, Curriculum Coach; NGSS Early Implementer Project Director, Galt Joint Union School District

 

Former Science PRP Members

Alexandra Bartfield, Supervisor of Math and Science, Somerville Public Schools

Jen Brown-Whale, Resource Teacher, Elementary Science, Howard County Public School System

Chris Charnitski, Science Education Specialist, North Carolina 

Melissa Collins, Teacher, Shelby County Schools

Bianca Deliberto, Curriculum Specialist, Zachary Community School District, LA

Christine Depatie, Teacher and STEM Coach, Swanton Schools, Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union

Donald DeRosa, Clinical Associate Professor of Science Education, Boston University

Joyce Depenbusch, Teacher, Skyline Schools, Unified School District #438

Terri Eros, Teacher and Science Co-Chair, Red Clay Consolidated School District

Jean Flanagan, Science Education Research Specialist, Washington DC 

Carolyn Frost, Sr. Content Specialist, NWEA

David Grossman, Science Teacher, TK Stone Middle School

Holly Hereau, Science Educator, BSCS

Missy Holzer, Teacher, Chatham High School Science

Diane Johnson, Regional Teacher Partner, PIMSER at University of Kentucky College of Education

Valerie Joyner, Freelance Elementary Science Writer, California 

Natalie Keigher, Science Teacher, Lisle Junior High School, IL

Shannon Kenyon, Curriculum Resource Teacher, Lewiston Independent School District

Liz Lehman, University of Chicago STEM Education, School Development Manager

Traci Loftin, Elementary Science Program Facilitator, Washoe County School District

Alessandra MacFarlane, Science Teacher, Hillsborough Middle School, NJ

Rachael Manzer, STEM Coach, Winchester Public Schools, CT

Bama Medley, Teacher on Special Assignment, Math and Science Specialist, Santa Maria-Bonita School Distric

Marisa Miller, Assistant Director of Science, Mastery Charter Schools 

Janet MacNeil, PreK-8 Science Coordinator, Brookline Public Schools 

Kristen Moorhead, Professional Development Provider, Professional Learning Innovations (PLI), LLC

Chris Embry Mohr, Science and Agriculture Teacher, Olympia High School

Aaron Mueller, Teacher, Scullen Middle School

Jeanne Norris, K-8 Curriculum Coordinator, Washington University in St. Louis Institute for School Partnership 

Kristin Rademaker, Teacher Leader, Harlem High School

Brianna Reilly, Teacher, Hightstown High School, East Windsor Regional School District

Ryan Revel, Teacher, Sussex Central High School, Indian River School District

Melissa Rogers, Science Curriculum Developer, Washington DC

Dianna Roy, Teacher, South Windsor Public Schools

Beth Shobe, Life Science Teacher, East Brunswick Public Schools-Churchill Jr. High, NJ

Monica Sircar, Science Educator, BSCS

Nancy Shellenberger, Science Resource Teacher, Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES

Katherine (Kate) Soriano, Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist, Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, Stevens Institute of Technology

Tracy Staley, Elementary Science Staff Developer, Pinellas County Schools, FL

Beth Pesnell, K-8 Math & Science Curriculum Specialist, Rogers Public Schools

Megan Veldhuizen, STEM Coordinator, Lawton Public Schools

Brandi Williams, High School Teacher, Edmond Public Schools

Cari Williams, Teacher on Special Assignment, Tustin Unified School District

James Yoos, Science Teacher/ Science Fellow, Bellingham High School

 

The Science PRP determines the extent to which instructional materials are designed for the NGSS using the EQuIP Rubric for Science. The criterion-based feedback and ratings are only relevant the specific material reviewed and should not be generalized as an endorsement of any particular curriculum, product or template.