New Director and Staff for Inquiry Science Program


New Director and Staff for Inquiry Science Program

For the past few years students in local schools have received hands on intensive science lessons, provided in large part through the assistance of the LANL Foundation. That program’s future was in question but the LANL Foundation has reorganized it and hired on new staff and a new director. Gwen Perea Warniment was named program director of the LANL Foundation Inquiry Science Education Consortium (ISEC).

As director, Warniment manages a staff of five who run the program that provides science curriculum, equipment and comprehensive teacher training in Dulce, Española, Mesa Vista, Santa Fe, Peñasco, Pojoaque school districts, serving 11,000 students in 30 elementary schools.

Warniment has seen that success in STEM education is about equity. “I envision students who are socially responsible, globally aware and locally engaged,” she said. “This project facilitates experiences for the students and teachers in New Mexico that allow them to participate in the community of science and engineering to this end.”

She has been associated with ISEC since its start in 2010, first as a science literacy coach in Santa Fe Public Schools before her hiring by the LANL Foundation as director of professional development and evaluation. Her promotion to program director came after predecessor Dorothy Sanchez retired.

Warniment has taught in Oaxaca, MX, and for the Santa Fe and Los Alamos Public Schools, in addition to instructing graduate-level education classes for New Mexico Highlands University. She is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University.

Also recently hired, professional development coordinator Danielle Gothie and professional development specialist Doris Rivera, will train and support over 400 teachers throughout the school year.  Both veteran educators have prior experience with the inquiry science method. Gothie is a former science literacy coach and teacher for Santa Fe Publics Schools. Rivera taught in Farmington, Santa Fe and Chama Valley school districts before serving as professional learning community leader and site coordinator in Chama for LASERi3, a similar science program partnership between the Smithsonian Education Center and LANL Foundation.

Science Resource Center coordinator Bryan Maestas manages the ISEC program’s warehouse in Chimayó with materials assistants Monica Herrera and Fabian Valdez.

“The LANL Foundation is fortunate to have such a wonderful team to implement the Inquiry Science program,” said Jenny Parks, LANL Foundation CEO. “Gwen, Doris and Danielle are all passionate and experienced teachers who bring great dedication and a love of children and teaching to their work.”

Warniment recently wrote the article “Equity through the Inquiry Science Education Consortium in New Mexico,” featured in a newsletter by FOSS (Full Option Science System), one of the companies that provides science curriculum and materials used in ISEC.

The article may be viewed online at .

For additional program information, visit or contact Gwen Warniment at (505) 753-8890 or (505) 351-1112.