BPS science specialist named chairman of NSTA conference

Musselman aims to bring knowledge, ideas back to Burlington

Meet Sean Musselman, the newly appointed chairman of the 2020 National Science Teachers Association conference, who serves as a science specialist for Burlington Public Schools.

Musselman, who works with Burlington students in kindergarten through grade 12 at the Burlington Science Center was recently named chairman of the professional development conference where educators focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education teaching. The conference provides educators from across the country the opportunity to learn the latest in teaching strategies, science content, and research, and Musselman said he’s eager to bring that knowledge back to Burlington for students and teachers.

When he received word he was selected as chairman, Musselman said, he was “honored and excited” to be chosen for the role that includes planning a theme of the upcoming conference, happening in Boston. He said he has always seen his involvement with the NSTA as something that “filters back to BPS,” whether through curating resources for the district, being part of the “new science teacher academy” through the association in years past, or working on “next generation science standards,” such as the new science units being rolled out in Burlington 4th-grade classrooms.

Musselman said he hopes his role will further allow him to advocate for Burlington Public Schools teachers, and work collaboratively with great educational leaders from across the country to bring back best practices to Burlington.

Speaking of the Burlington school community, Musselman said he’s been lucky to work with students of all ages through the Burlington Science Center, where he’s seen a “continuum of growth and understanding” in students over the years he’s been teaching.

“Working here is a joy, it’s clear the community understands the importance of science … what we do here is appreciated and valued, and I like to keep our community happy and excited about what’s happening in science education in our schools,” he said.

“Science has been a part of my life growing up,” Musselman said, who has admired his father, a scientist, since he was young, spent lots of time outdoors, and achieved an Eagle Scout ranking.

His love of teaching, he said, came later when he discovered his passion for helping children learn as a swim instructor at a YMCA while he was in high school. Even back then, Musselman said, he knew he wanted to teach.

“I always enjoyed working with children … that carried on through life,” Musselman said.

He said in serving on the NSTA conference committee, and volunteering with the NSTA over the years in different capacities, he believes it allows him to better serve the local Burlington community, Massachusetts as a whole, and the U.S. by improving science education in schools.