Board on Science Education
Friday, August 29, 2014 
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Higher Education

Informal, Afterschool, and Public Engagement

Information and Communication Technology


Standards and Assessment

Policy and Program Reviews







Email: hschweingruber at


Phone: 202-334-2009

Heidi Schweingruber, Ph.D., is the director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC). She co-directed the study that resulted in the report A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) which is the first step in revising national standards for K-12 science education. She served as study director for a review of NASA’s pre-college education programs completed in 2008 and co-directed the study that produced the 2007 report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. She served as an editor on the NRC report Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths to Excellence and Equity (2009). She co- authored two award-winning books for practitioners that translate findings of NRC reports for a broader audience: Ready, Set, Science! Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms (2008) and Surrounded by Science (2010). Prior to joining the NRC, Heidi worked as a senior research associate at the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education where she administered the preschool curriculum evaluation program and a grant program in mathematics education. Previously, she was the director of research for the Rice University School Mathematics Project an outreach program in K-12 mathematics education, and taught in the psychology and education departments at Rice University. Heidi holds a Ph.D. in psychology (developmental) and anthropology, and a certificate in culture and cognition from the University of Michigan.





Email: nnielsen at





Natalie Nielsen, Ph.D., is a senior program officer with the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC). At the NRC she has directed studies on K-12 and undergraduate science education, including the study that produced the 2011 report Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Before joining the NRC, Natalie was the director of research at the Business-Higher Education Forum, where her work focused on college readiness, access, and success, particularly in STEM. Previously, as a senior researcher at SRI International, Natalie conducted evaluations of a wide variety of federal, state, and district-level reform efforts, including technology initiatives, after-school programs, teacher quality, data-driven decision-making, youth development programs, and high-school reform. She has also served as a staff writer for AAAS’ Project 2061, exhibit researcher at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and exhibit writer and internal evaluator at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Natalie holds a B.S. in geology from the University of California, Davis; an M.S. in geological sciences from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in education from George Mason University.







mhilton at




Margaret Hilton is senior program officer of the Board on Science Education and the Board on Testing and Assessment at the National Research Council (NRC). She recently directed a consensus study overseen by both boards that led to the report, Education for Life and Work:  Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century. This study built on and extended earlier workshops, one focused on future skill demands, another on the intersection between science education and 21st century skills, and another on assessment of 21st century skills.  She also recently directed two large national summits--Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape (in December, 2011) and Assessment of Informal and Afterschool Science Learning (in June, 2012). She contributed to the BOSE report Discipline-Based Education Research,; was a primary author of the report, Learning Science through Computer Games and Simulations; and directed a study of high school science laboratories. For the NRC Committee on National Statistics, she directed a study of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a large database of occupational information.   Prior to joining the NRC staff, Margaret was a consultant to the National Skill Standards Board.  Earlier, at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, she directed studies of workforce training, work reorganization, and international competitiveness.  She earned a B.A. in geography, with high honors, from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. in education and human development from George Washington University. 




 Email: mfeder at





Michael Feder, Ph.D., is a senior program officer for the Board on Science Education (BOSE).  He recently returned to BOSE after a temporary position as a policy analyst to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  As a policy analyst at OSTP, he managed the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM), which developed a 5-year federal STEM education strategic plan. In addition, Michael provided the President and his senior staff accurate, relevant, and timely advice on all matters related to STEM education. During his tenure with BOSE he worked on consensus studies on broad range of issues including informal science education, K-12 science education standards, federal science education programs, and K-12 engineering education.  Michael's area of expertise include applications of cognitive and social development theories to student learning, teacher development, research methods in education, and implications of educational research for education policy and practice.  Michael earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology at George Mason University.



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