Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with a webinar panel, open discussion, resources and blog post. 



Recorded: June 8th at 5:00pm EDT
Description: This month’s theme will examine ways elementary teachers can leverage their expertise and experience to help students wonder and be curious as they explore the natural world and design solutions to real world problems that matter to them.


K Renae Pullen

K. Renae Pullen K. Renae Pullen has been an educator for over 20 years. Currently, she is a science specialist for Caddo Parish Public Schools in Shreveport, Louisiana. Besides being a dedicated science educator, Ms. Pullen has served on several local, state, and national committees as well as presented at numerous workshops and conferences. Ms. Pullen was a consulting expert for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) practitioner's guide, Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom and served on the NASEM committee that produced Science and Engineering in Preschool Through Elementary Grades: The Brilliance of Children and the Strengths of Educators. She is currently a member of the Board on Science Education for the National Academies of Sciences, serves on the National Science Foundation’s STEM Education Advisory Panel, and she is a National STEM Ambassador for NSTA/NCTM. Ms. Pullen has received numerous awards including several grants, a Fund for Teachers fellowship to study creativity, and STEM in Spain and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. See Full Bio.


Dr. Carolyn Colley is currently the science instructional facilitator at Sartori Elementary in Renton, Washington. In this role, she develops elementary science curriculum resources and facilitates teachers’ professional learning in order to better support students’ collective and individual sensemaking about their science learning experiences. Prior to her current position, she earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on science education (University of Washington, Seattle) and facilitated professional learning opportunities around Ambitious Science Teaching Practices. Her prior roles include: fourth grade bilingual generalist teacher, district-level science coach, and instructor for elementary science teaching methods courses for preservice teachers at Antioch University Seattle and the University of Washington, Seattle. See Full Bio.

Lesley Gates

Lesley Gates is the Science Content Specialist with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Before being hired at FCSS, she has been a high school science teacher, K-12 STEM instructional coach, and Education Specialist at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
Lesley’s current role includes working with TK-8 teachers to identify challenges and design solutions for the transition to the new science standards (NGSS) focusing on the integration of English Language Arts and Math standards into elementary science lessons. Lesley has focused on leading science-focused professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators within Fresno County, across the state, and internationally. See Full Bio.

Cindy Soule has taught for twenty-one years at the Gerald E. Talbot Community School. Soule’s passion for the natural world is evident in her teaching. She grounds learning in real world contexts and encourages students to construct scientific understanding through questioning, investigation, observation and collaborative thinking. Through inquiry, discourse, and activism Soule empowers students to see themselves as meaningful contributors to their community. Soule holds a Master of Science in Special Education from the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Maine at Orono. A 2020 Fund for Teachers Fellow, 2020 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year, 2022 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science Teaching she looks forward to continuing to advocate for the critical importance of integrated elementary science and literacy. See Full Bio