Skip to main

Update: Mercy's COVID-19 Policies

For the latest information about Mercy’s COVID-19 policies click here.  STUDENTS: To upload your vaccination documentation, click here.  

STEM professional development classes


Mercy College’s Center for STEM Education is pleased to offer schools and districts professional development programs for both teachers and administration. Our professional development offerings are designed by full-time Mercy College faculty and presented by faculty, STEM education professionals and master teachers. Please see descriptions of what we have been working on, but feel free to approach us with a specific need or focus so we can create an appropriate program for you.

Past Events

Teachers in classroom

Invention Literacy Workshop (Makey Makey)

On November 9, 2019 the Center for STEM Education and PRISM of Montclair State University hosted an Invention Literacy Workshop using an MIT-designed invention kit called Makey Makey. Teachers from Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey began the day by creating computer touchpads with playdoh and wires in order to play the piano, and ended with their own team invention created in one hour, from design to programming to finish.

Team one created a device which, when touched, delivers reminders about time to eat or time for medications for dementia patients.


Vertical Professional Learning Community

Vertical Professional Learning Community

In this series of 4-7 sessions, teachers form vertical groups consisting of elementary, middle and high school teachers. In their groups, teachers focus on a research-based method for instruction and one science content area for their work. The program includes support with selecting teachers, group formation, facilitation of inter-visitation of classes, debriefs using an established protocol, review of monthly journal entries and final presentations. The Center for STEM Education team also collects formative feedback to adjust the model, accordingly, along the way. Participating teachers must also meet in their vertical teams between sessions to facilitate progress in this model.

Our own educational research and current literature support the benefits of VPLC: higher commitment levels; improved effectiveness; creation and sharing of a large body of professional knowledge; a shift in school culture towards shared decision making; and a positive impact on longevity of teachers careers. 


STEM and STEAM workshop

STEM and STEAM Professional Development for Elementary Teachers

Dr. Meghan Marrero taught a Professional Development at Trinity School, New Rochelle, on material properties and observing crystals. The elementary teachers conducted scientific observations and tests to determine what an unknown was.


MCCSE K-12 STEM Teacher Conference In-Person/Streaming

October 16, 2021, 9:00am-2:00pm

Mercy College Dobbs Ferry campus (limited to 45 teachers) or attend live Zoom

As one teacher remarked last school year -  “we are all rookie teachers today” and another “I rely [more] on the outer circle of science teachers”.  What have we learned from the pandemic school year?

Our theme this year is Technology in the Classroom: Leveraging Lessons Learned during the Pandemic

Please join us for two concurrent academic sessions, poster session, virtual exhibitor hall, and keynote speaker Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser, Executive Director of Computer Science for All.

Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser

Keynote:  Building Capacity for Implementing Equitable Computer Science Education

In-person Attendance Registration

$50/person (limited to first 45 people)

Virtual Attendance Registration 


Professional Development Instructor Bios

Amanda M. Gunning, Ph.D.

Dr. Amanda Gunning is an assistant professor of Science Education at Mercy College where she teaches both content and methods courses for K-12 teacher candidates. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics from University of Richmond, a Master of Arts in Secondary Science Education from City College and her doctoral work at Teachers College, Columbia University focused on Elementary Science Education. Amanda enjoys working with teachers and after six years teaching in public schools in the Bronx and Rockland, she has been providing professional development for K-12 educators in science for ten years. While teaching, Amanda participated in a Research Experience for Teachers, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted by Brooklyn Polytechnic University (now NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering) in electrical and mechanical engineering. This experience fueled her interest in engineering and led to her incorporating it meaningfully in science instruction and teacher education. Amanda co-directs the Greater NY Wipro Science Education Fellowship with Meghan Marrero, which provides research-driven PD for 60 K-12 science teacher fellows. She presents her research on science teacher self-efficacy, vertical learning communities and family STEM learning at international conferences every year since 2009 and is published. She is the Co-Director and Co-Founder of Mercy College's Center for STEM Education with Meghan.

Meghan E. Marrero, Ed.D.

Dr. Meghan E. Marrero is a professor of secondary science education at Mercy College, co-director of the Mercy College Center for STEM Education and an educational consultant. A former high school science teacher in New York City, Meghan has since conducted K-12 STEM professional development workshops for teachers and administrators across the country as well as in Dublin, Ireland as a part of her Fulbright Scholarship in 2018. More locally, Meghan has served as an instructional coach in independent, public and charter schools. She has served as PI and co-PI of many large grant programs focused on teacher preparation and professional development. At Mercy College, she teaches courses in elementary and secondary science methods, oceanography, and assessment. Meghan has extensive experience working with teachers and administrators in aligning their work with the Next Generation Science Standards and their instructional philosophies. As co-Principal Investigator of the NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project, she helped teachers incorporate STEM practices into elementary, middle and high school classrooms through the integration of instructional technology resources and engineering practices. Meghan holds a degree in biological science from Cornell University, and a master's and doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has written a variety of STEM-based curricula and a high school marine science textbook. She has also presented at numerous national and international conferences, including the National Science Teachers Association, American Educational Research Association, National Marine Educators Association, and National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

Kristen V. Napolitano, Ed.D.

Kristen Napolitano is the postdoctoral researcher for the Center for STEM Education at Mercy College. Dr. Napolitano holds her Ed.D in Science Education with a specialization in Teacher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has provided professional development for education technologies, such as Scratch and MakeyMakey for in-service teachers at Montclair State University and for the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative. She has also provided professional development around co-teaching as a way of engaging students in STEM for in-service teachers at a public school in New Jersey and for the Emerging Learning Design 2018 Annual Conference. Additionally, Dr. Napolitano gained nine years experience working in Gifted Education for the Gifted and Talented Academy at Montclair State University. She proudly joins Mercy College after seven years of teaching 7th-12th grade life sciences including biology, biotechnology, genetics, and forensic science.

Scott Misner, Ed.D.

Scott has been teaching science at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle for close to 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from York College, a Master of Science  in Secondary Ed. Science from Lehman College, a  Master of Science in Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle, and an Educational Doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. Johns University. Scott runs the Isaac Young Astronomy Club and enjoys creating fun and effective science lessons where students strive to develop critical thinking skills. Scott finished his Mercy College Wipro Science Education Fellowship in 2018.

Kristen Crawford

Kristen Crawford has been in the science education field for more than 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University, a Master’s of Art in Teaching with a concentration in Elementary Science Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Scranton University. Kristen has been a leader in the science education field through her work as a K-6 science specialist in River Edge School District and her role as a Math and Science Supervisor. Kristen has been a member of focus groups for the New Jersey Department of Education Science Division when the state adopted the Next Generation Science Standards. She has been and instructor in the NASA Endeavor STEM Teaching Certificate Project for 5 years and has provided professional development for the Kean University Math Science Partnership program. Kristen currently writes curriculum provides professional development for and manages the science program as the K-12 Supervisor of Science in the School District of the Chathams in New Jersey.

Jessica Riccio, Ed.D.

Dr. Jessica Riccio, is a Master Science Teacher, Teacher Educator, and STEM Professional Development Specialist. She has specific experience with several NSF, NOAA and NASA STEM grants focused on the creation of curricula and researched-based pedagogy and inquiry methods. She is a lead mentor in New Jersey Math,Science Partnerships to educate teachers and teacher leaders on the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards. Dr. Jessica Riccio directs a Science Teacher Education Program in which she prepares preservice teachers for biology, chemistry, earth science and physics state certification in grades 7 through 12. She recently completed a three year term on the Board of Directors of the Association for Science Teacher Education, an international association of science teacher educators, scientists, science coordinators and supervisors, and informal science educators who prepare and provide professional development for teachers of science at all grade levels. Prior to working as a Teacher Educator, she was a New York City Middle and High School Science Teacher in the Department of Education, and an Urban Science Education Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College. She received her Master of Arts, Master of Education and Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

William Farber

Dr. William Farber is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education for the Mercy College School of Education.
Dr. Farber teaches both mathematics and mathematics education courses. He has a particular interest in mathematical problem solving.
Moreover, Dr. Farber coordinates a multitude of professional development initiatives and grant programs targeted to secondary school pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers. Recently (September 2015), The New York State Association of Mathematics Supervisors (NYSAMS) inducted Dr. Farber into the New York State Mathematics Educators Hall of Fame.

Karen Woodruff, Ph.D.

Karen Woodruff is a STEM professional development specialist with 15 years of experience in K-12 education. As a teacher educator, she serves as a director for the NASA Endeavor STEM Teaching Certificate Project. She also enjoys serving as a consultant for independent district NGSS workshops and lesson study. Karen is passionate about equity in STEM education and dedicated to the preparation, support and appreciation of teachers. She seeks out opportunities to integrate across subject areas when designing instruction to facilitate meaningful connections for student learning. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Montclair State University.