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Curriculum and Instructional Specialist, Teacher Professional Development Program

About Us: The Museum of Science and Industry provides programs and experiences that deepen the engagement of students and teachers in science and science-related disciplines, with a vision to inspire and motivate our children to achieve their full potential in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine.

We offer a creative, collaborative, and innovative environment for our employees. Our employees get great perks such as: benefits starting day one of your employment, free admission to MSI for family and friends, free admission to other museums, free parking in MSI’s garage and more! If you are equally passionate about our vision and want to be surrounded by a team of dynamic, smart and innovative people, the Museum of Science and Industry is the right place for you!

The Job: MSI’s Institute for Quality Science Teaching (IQST) works to improve science learning in Chicago-area schools, with a particular focus on underserved, urban student populations, through sustained teacher professional development. IQST provides 3rd - 8th grade educators with the content knowledge, confidence and skills necessary to effectively teach science under the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Courses address environmental, earth, physical, space, and life science.

The Curriculum and Instructional Specialist for IQST will develop, refine, plan and deliver graduate-level science teacher education courses that incorporate the three-dimensional learning strategies inherent in the NGSS. Curriculum and Instructional Specialists create high quality instructional materials, model instruction and support the development of teaching methods through professional learning cohorts, with the goal of expanding and enhancing the pool of qualified and passionate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other IQST team members to develop, implement and refine science teacher education/professional development programs in accordance with the IQST & Welcome to Science Initiative priorities and guidelines, as well as university partner guidelines.
  • Act as lead instructor/coordinator for select courses as they rotate into a delivery phase, while also participating in the ongoing planning, refinement, facilitation and evaluation of all other IQST programming.
  • Work collaboratively to research, design, and implement and refine individual lessons and activities as well as instructional sequences that support and facilitate the content and pedagogical objectives of the IQST program and courses, including high-leverage teaching strategies and NGSS-aligned three dimensional learning.
  • Continually monitor programs for quality assurance via evaluation and research, working closely with MSI’s Research and Evaluation professionals, and implementing modifications/revisions based on evaluation findings and recommendations.
  • Ensure alignment of coursework with university partner guidelines for awarding graduate-level credits. Develop assignments and provide individualized feedback and grades for teacher participants pursuing university credit.
  • Collaborate with other IQST team members to curate and manage the IQST Digital Learning Space (DLS), as well as facilitate teacher engagement. Work with MSI’s Digital Strategies team to create and maintain the space and online application.
  • Serve as a liaison to create and maintain productive partnerships with education communities and external organizations, such as professional groups, universities and school districts.
  • Seek professional development opportunities to identify, remain current in and apply best practices in teacher education and science/STEM education for primary, middle and secondary students, with a focus on urban and underserved student populations.
  • Engage in reflective practice with IQST team members by contributing to regular internal IQST evaluation, including developing and implementing strategic planning and engaging in creative idea-generation and problem-solving.
  • Collaborate with External Affairs Department on grant proposals and reports; ensure alignment of programming with grant guidelines.
  • Collaborate with Marketing Department to raise awareness of Welcome to Science Initiative programs and initiatives and recruit program participants.
  • Collaborate with other Teaching and Learning Department teams to ensure all programs align with overall Welcome to Science Initiative objectives and are relevant to local, state and national education standards, and participate in assigned working groups and on cross-department/division Museum teams.
  • Assist in the hiring, training and supervising of staff, volunteers and interns.
  • Communicate with internal staff and external partners regarding program logistics.
  • Participate in assigned working groups, attend and support Museum-sponsored events, and serve on cross-department Museum teams.


  • Masters’ Degree (a plus) or equivalent experience in science/STEM, education or related discipline and  5+ years related experience and/or training is preferred
  • Experience with science education and other STEM content required, including specific subject matter knowledge and strong understanding of related pedagogies (as well as how specific content cross-cuts with other scientific disciplines)
  • Be comfortable and facile with the essential shifts in science teaching and learning under NGSS, such as the use of phenomena and misconceptions
  • Proven track record managing multiple projects and deadlines with a high level of detail orientation; excellent project management, planning and organizational skills
  • Experience in developing and delivering professional development programs for teachers required
  • Experience with upper elementary and middle school students and teachers preferred
  • Understanding of and experience with programming in a variety of educational settings, including schools, science centers/or other museums
  • Strong understanding of and experience with research-based best practices in teacher professional learning
  • Racial and cultural competence, with an understanding of the role of race, class and privilege in the inequities of the school system
  • Must be creative and dynamic; exhibit enthusiasm, initiative, flexibility, and openness to new ideas, and contribute to a collaborative, congenial and professional team environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking required
  • Must demonstrate comfort in a team environment, with strong collaboration skills
  • An ability to work on multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Excellent project management, planning and organizational skills
  • Bilingual ability a plus
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) required

The Museum of Science and Industry is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, which includes providing equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

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