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About Us

Making Sense of SCIENCE believes that when teachers transform their science classrooms into places that fuel curiosity and nurture collaboration, they prepare students to be the problem solvers of tomorrow. If we don’t invest in our students, they are at risk of not reaching their full potential in school, in their careers, and as citizens in our democracy.

Making Sense of SCIENCE is not a student curriculum, nor is it aligned to any specific student curriculum. Instead, we help build stronger science education communities by providing personalized professional learning and needs-based technical assistance to teachers, coaches, leaders, and administrators.

Backed by rigorous research, MSS offers an array of services from short half-day workshops to in-depth learning pathways that include leadership training and site-based technical support. There are many ways to customize an MSS experience to accommodate your site’s unique needs. Connect with us to find out more. 


Our Team

Kirsten Daehler

Director

Kirsten helped find Making Sense of SCIENCE (formally Understanding Science for Teaching) in 1998 to transform the way teachers learn about science and the complex art of teaching. Her passion for providing respectful teacher professional learning with demonstrated impact is evident throughout the work of MSS. 

She began her work in science education as a high school chemistry and physics teacher and department chair. She delights in working with teachers, leaders, and students — and also in charging around a soccer field, traveling with family and friends, and serving her community. 

Jennifer Folsom

Associate Director & Lead Learning Architect

As the Associate Director, Jennifer supervises the day-to-day work of the MSS team and supports MSS staff in their own professional learning and growth. In her work as Lead Learning Architect, she designs learning pathways and project implementation plans and develops products and services. 

She began her career in science education in high school, conducting research in a pharmacology lab and teaching K–5 students at a neighborhood environmental education center. In her free time, you’re likely to find her hiking deep into the Sierra Nevada, backpack on, little one(s) in tow.

Kathy Huncosky

Professional Learning Specialist

In her work as a Professional Learning Specialist, Kathy facilitates professional learning for teachers and leaders nationwide — making her an expert traveler and a skilled user of remote learning technologies. She also develops products and services and also leads MSS partnerships among school districts and researchers.  

Kathy began her career in education as a K–8 teacher and school district science education specialist. She quickly wears out her walking shoes on treks with friends and family and enjoys creating interesting dinners from what she has on hand.

Jennifer Mendenhall

Senior Communications Lead

In her work as Communications Lead, Jennifer helps shape how complex science content is communicated visually, and is responsible for the design of project materials and outreach to clients. Jennifer is also a Making Sense of SCIENCE facilitator and supports the learning of teachers and leaders from across the country. She is also the staff support specialist and supports the associate director with staff professional learning and growth.

Jennifer has been with WestEd since she graduated college. In her spare time, she loves a good home-improvement project, and has worked tirelessly, along with her husband, to renovate their 90-year old house from top to bottom.

Diana Mejia

Program Assistant

As a project assistant for Making Sense of SCIENCE, Diana coordinates professional learning events and print orders, produces hands-on kit materials, serves as the tech driver for remote professional learning, and provides day-to-day administrative support for staff. 

Before joining WestEd, Diana worked in the healthcare field for over a decade in record keeping, registration, appointment scheduling, and implementing new technologies. She enjoys travel, outdoor activities, cooking for friends and family, and spending time with loved ones.

Patrick Moyle

Professional Learning Specialist & Remote Learning Architect

Patrick Moyle

Professional Learning Specialist & Remote Learning Architect

In his work as the Services Lead, Patrick is the point person and hub of the team’s broad network of partners and consultants and supports the services work of the team. In his work as Distance Learning Architect, he designs and facilitates distance learning pathways.

Before joining WestEd, Patrick taught minds on middle school science for a decade. He worked at the district level designing science professional learning and science implementation plans in California’s Central Valley. Patrick loves growing, cooking, eating, and preserving all sorts of foods.

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