Jean Flanagan

science education & communication specialist

portrait of Jean Flanagan

I am committed to the idea that all students should have access to a high-quality science education. I apply expertise in education research, national standards (NGSS), curriculum, assessment, and professional development to provide support, training, and resources to educators striving to raise expectations.

What I Do

  • I have expertise in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and their parent document, the NRC’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. I was recently selected as a panelist on Achieve’s NGSS EQuIP Peer Review Panel.

  • I focus on developing research-based, standards-aligned materials for elementary and middle school science classrooms. I believe high-quality curriculum materials can be educative for both students and teachers.

  • I train educators on understanding and implementing the NGSS, using the EQuIP rubric to identify NGSS-aligned materials, anticipating and probing student ideas, and facilitating student engagement in the science & engineering practices.

  • I develop high-quality written- and performance-based assessments through careful review, pilot testing, and precise standards alignment.

  • I write about science, nature, and education for a variety of audiences, including teachers, students, and the general public. As an editor, I specialize in developmental and structural editing and especially enjoy opportunities for close collaboration with writers.

  • I’ve served on the research team for multiple federally funded (NSF, IES) science education research studies collecting and analyzing data, including user interviews. I also specialize in translating research findings into the design of educational products – I spend a lot of time on Google Scholar.

  • As an experienced COTR (contracting officer’s tech rep), I am often managing multiple collaborative projects. I know my way around Basecamp and Slack, and am always looking for ways to streamline processes and foster creativity.

  • I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for over six years, and find editing in Lightroom just as engaging as shooting. I also shoot events for charities like City Dogs Rescue.

Who I’ve Worked With

logo for Smithsonian Science Education Center

Science Education Research Specialist

Smithsonian Science Education Center


My role on the Curriculum & Communications team focuses on translating research into practice. Among many cross-departmental projects, I am currently a series developer and managing editor on a new (in development) NGSS-aligned curriculum series, and was a project lead on the Good Thinking! video series, a 2017 AAP REVERE Awards finalist for Innovation—Professional Resources.

logo for Public Library of Science Blog Network

Managing Editor, Writer: Sci-Ed

Public Library of Science Blog Network


I pitched the blog concept for Sci-Ed to the network and remotely managed a team of writers to cover science education from multiple angles (including formal, informal, and higher ed) for a broad audience.

logo for American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Associate, Project 2061

American Association for the Advancement of Science


I served on the research and development team for multiple federally funded (NSF, IES) grants investigating the effectiveness of research-based, standards-aligned curriculum materials and assessments.