Vernier Science Education Selects 10 Inspiring STEM Teachers to Join Its New Vernier Trendsetters Community

BEAVERTON, Oregon — Vernier Science Education has selected ten outstanding high school STEM teachers from across the nation to join the newly formed Vernier Trendsetters Community. This select professional learning community marks a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to supporting educators, fostering STEM literacy, and revolutionizing classroom learning experiences.

“This first cohort of Vernier Trendsetters Community members are enthusiastic and passionate educators who are committed to hands-on learning by leveraging Vernier technology to engage and inspire the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers,” said Jill Hedrick, CEO of Vernier Science Education. “We look forward to collaborating closely with these educators, showcasing their innovative practices, and further elevating their teaching impact in the global science community.”

The Vernier Trendsetters Community offers educators a forum to enhance their teaching skills, specifically through the use of Vernier data-collection technology, and to engage in meaningful collaboration with like-minded leading STEM educators.

The first cohort of Vernier Trendsetter Community includes the following educators:

  • Cecelia Gillam, EdD, environmental science teacher at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana
  • Charlotte Whiteside, math teacher at Salem Hills High School in Salem, Utah
  • Crystal McDowell, science department chair and AP biology, human physiology, and genetics teacher at Greenbrier High School in Evans, Georgia
  • Diane Vrobel, chemistry and physical science teacher at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio
  • Eric Robinson, physics teacher at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, California
  • Eric Walters, Director of STEM Education, and physics and atmospheric science teacher at Marymount School of New York in New York City, New York
  • Nick Watkins, Earth science, physical science, and physics teacher at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, Washington
  • Paula Downie, physics teacher at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas
  • Petra van’t Slot, integrated biology and chemistry, environmental science, and student research teacher at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey
  • Robert Beal, physics and AP Physics teacher at West Chicago Community High School in West Chicago, Illinois

These Vernier Trendsetter Community members will have the opportunity to provide and participate in professional development, collaborate on content with Vernier, provide feedback on programming and upcoming products, and more. In addition, community members may have the opportunity to be featured nationally for their implementation of data-collection technology and become eligible to receive financial support to attend and present at conferences.

“I am excited to become a part of a network of like-minded educators who are committed to shaping STEM education,” says Gillam, EdD. “I was always taught that iron sharpens iron, so therefore you want to be around other people who will help you to sharpen your skills and become a better educator.”

“I look forward to contributing to this growing community of educators and to collaborating with and training other teachers on how to use sensors as a tool to drive learning and physics instruction,” said Watkins. “I have found success making science visible to my students by putting the data in their hands, which is facilitated with Vernier sensors.”

This collaborative environment will empower educators to enhance their teaching methodologies and inspire students to excel in STEM fields. The Vernier Trendsetters Community embodies the commitment Vernier Science Education has to supporting educators and driving innovation and curiosity in STEM education.

Applications for the Vernier Trendsetters Community will continue on a rolling basis. To learn more about the community and to apply for the next cohort, visit

About Vernier Science Education

For more than 40 years, Vernier Science Education has been committed to using our experience, knowledge, and passion to create the best and most reliable solutions for STEM education. Our comprehensive solutions include hardware, software, content, assessment, professional development, and technical support. At the heart of Vernier is our deep commitment to being an authentic and trusted partner to STEM educators. We are dedicated to partnering with educators and communities to build a STEM-literate society where students grow up to become knowledgeable citizens who can solve problems, fully contribute to their communities, and drive innovation. For more information, visit

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