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Eric Wuersten



  • K-12 Administrator 


Eric B Wuersten

Mr. Wuersten is the Washington State Science Curriculum Program Supervisor at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Olympia, Washington. Currently he supervises the review of the State's science standards, Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs), the development of science Grade Level Expectations, science core concepts from the GLEs, and implementation tools for the science community to align curriculum and classroom instruction to state standards with IA Tools 3. Additionally Eric is the administrator of the federally funded Mathematics and Science Partnership grant program through Title II Part B of "No Child Left Behind." He also administers the contracts for Washington State LASER and the Pacific Science Center educational outreach programs. As a part of his overall responsibilities, Eric supports collaborative and collegial efforts between OSPI and science stakeholders to build a statewide coherent science learning system.
Eric completed his PhD Qualifying Exams at UCLA in Vertebrate Zoology and prepared research plans for Retinal Structures of Parietal Eyes in Sceloporine Lizards. for work with Dr. Federico Cresitelli at UCLA from 1963-65 while completing a MA in Vertebrate Zoology. Prior to UCLA, Eric spent three years working as an assistant to Dr. Garrett Hardin at UCSB where he developed video frog dissection methods for multiple monitor displays in a lecture hall environments and built thermistor probe sensors for Dr John Adams to study thermo regulation in sphinx moths of the Mojave.
Eric shifted careers from research to teaching and from 1965-1998 where he taught Biology, Chemistry Physics and Geology in secondary schools in California and Washington. In 1970 Eric received an NSF summer internship to study BSCS at University of Texas, Austin. In 1983 he was trained as a FAST (Foundational Approaches to Science Teaching) instructor at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. This year marked the formal beginning in the development of a new pedagogical model of instruction called HES. (Hands, Eyes, Symbols), a system based on Piaget's developmental theories, Larry Lowry's brain research, and animal models of brain development from Crutch and Crutchfield (1963) to Agrinoff (1970), and current best practices and published and implemented as SEARCH 2 (Science in the Environment through Application Research Concepts and challenges).
Eric served as the Science Curriculum Coordinator for the Puyallup School District from 1985 to 2001 where he refined the HES model and led the development of science kits in the elementary schools. Additionally, he worked to introduce the use of notebooks in the K-12 science curriculum with an emphasis on comprehension and literacy gains as well as the use of technology from computers to electronic probes. 1n 2001, Eric was awarded a $65,000 contract to redesign the PASS1 program for migrant youth (Portable Assisted Science Sequence) in the Sunnyside School District and Washington state. The program was published November 2002.
During his tenure as the science coordinator in Puyallup Eric worked with WSU, Puyallup as the Environmental Science Coordinator to develop a regional Watershed Education4 program through a $200,000 State Patrol mitigation grant and a $170,000 grant from the Department of Ecology.
Eric received Washington State's 1989 Christa McAulliffe Award for excellence in teaching for his work in developing the SEARCH 2 program in the Puyallup School District.

1. PASS, Integrated Physics, Earth Science, Biology. Sunnyside School District, 2002.
2. SEARCH, Teacher Leadership, Puget Sound Educational Consortium, University of Washington Medina Group Project, 1990.
3. Standards Based Science: Instructional Alignment (IA) Tools for Learning Communities. OSPI, 2007.
4. Watershed Education, WSU Extension Puyallup, 1998.



Instruction and Standards 


Instructional Alignment@