Your middle school NGSS partner

Teaching science during school closures? Find resources from Impact Science here.

Contact Us / Meet Us

Thank you for your interest! We look forward to partnering with you to serve your NGSS needs.

Contact us at

Or call us at (510) 559-9332.

VISIT US AT OUR 2019–2020 Events:


NSTA STEAM Forum San Francisco   07/24/19–07/26/19

CSTA San Jose   10/18/19–10/20/19

STEAM Symposium Anaheim 2019   12/09/19–12/10/19

LA County Publisher Fair   02/24/20

San Bernardino Publisher Fair   04/03/20



Who we are

Ladie Malek, Co-Founder and President

Ladie started out as a structural engineer before finding her calling as an educator. She taught math and science for 8 years at the secondary level, including at a Title 1 school and a National Blue Ribbon School. Along the way, she wrote many lessons and joined several curriculum writing efforts as a way to engage her students in science and math.

Since 2000 she has been developing content full time, and has developed a number of STEM products and courses for K–12. She is passionate about creating content that is motivating and engaging for students and user-friendly for educators.

Ladie holds a BS in Civil Engineering from UCLA, an MA in Education from Stanford University, and teaching credentials in mathematics and physical science. She founded Impact Science Education with the goal of bringing quality STEM education to every school and every student, and supporting teachers and schools in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

Ladie’s hobbies include travel, languages, soccer, guitar, and baking. She is also a serious miniature golfer.

Robin Cooper, Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer

Robin started out in medical research before switching to teaching full time. She has over 20 years experience teaching middle school science. During that time she has served as department chair and as a mentor to numerous new teachers and student teachers.

Robin is passionate about engaging students’ interest in science. She has created many innovative lessons, from the cell parts role play to the popular sound and light stations lab.

Robin holds a BA in Biology from Vassar College and completed her teacher training at San Francisco State University. She holds a single subject credential in life science with a supplemental in chemistry, as well as a multiple subject credential. She served as a Teacher on Special Assignment for two years, working with her science department to implement the California Next Generation Science Standards integrated sequence for middle school. Her school was recently named a National Blue Ribbon school.

Robin’s secret talent is playing accordion, the coolest of all musical instruments.

Mat Miyashiro, PD Manager

As an educator and editor, Mat has always enjoyed creating lessons and activities that allow students to uncover concepts through investigation and observation. He was one of the founding teachers for a Title 1 Charter School in San Diego, where he taught for 10 years and served as Math Department Chair and teacher mentor. He spent the next 6 years working as a curriculum writer, presenter, and digital editor for Math and ELA. He has worked on multiple products in many capacities, but decided to join the Impact Science team to facilitate schools’ transition to NGSS.

He holds a BA in Economics (with a minor in Teaching) from University of California San Diego.

Mat played collegiate tennis and coached varsity tennis and soccer for many years. He still enjoys playing and teaching tennis in his free time. Other hidden talents include darts and a mean game of poker.

Molly Rose-Williams, PD Coordinator

Molly found her way to teaching as a one-on-one Chinese language instructor for three years before diving into the world of experiential education. She has taught on farms, in gardens, kitchens, and wild outdoor classrooms, all with the aim of connecting students’ classroom learning more deeply to the world around them, and building their capacities as powerful agents for change.

Most recently, Molly worked for three years as a Chef Teacher at the Edible Schoolyard, where she led the development of schoolwide experiential nutrition curriculum. She still works with the Edible Schoolyard as a curriculum consultant and teacher trainer.

Molly holds a BA, summa cum laude, in Environmental Studies and Geography from Middlebury College.

In addition to education, Molly is passionate about dancing and works as a freelance choreographer and performer, as well as occasionally moonlighting as a parkour teacher.

Linda McPheron, Product Developer

Linda McPheron is part of the product development team at Impact Science Education. Her specialties are ecology, entomology, evolution, and biology education. Linda has a Master’s degree in Entomology from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in Entomology from UC Berkeley. She has taught a variety of courses at several colleges in the Bay Area including UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, and Berkeley City College.

Linda has a strong interest in science pedagogy and was an author on a paper that measured active learning in college science classes, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Her two favorite things are working with the team at Impact Science Education to come up with new lesson and project ideas, and thinking up active and engaging ways to teach biology to her college students.

A longtime soccer player and coach, she also enjoys coffee, pastries, all things creepy or crawly, and her new sport, pickleball!

Mirka Marquez, Product Developer

Mirka Marquez is a curriculum developer for Impact Science Education, and contributed to several earth science and physics units. Previously a middle and elementary school teacher, she practiced project-based learning for multiple subjects, including a weeks-long electricity unit with her 4th and 5th graders. She has enjoyed using her classroom experience as a springboard for creative science lessons and unit design.

Mirka has a degree in Art and Literature from UC Santa Cruz and completed her credential coursework at Cal State Monterey Bay. During her time as a teacher, she also participated in a Noyce Foundation 3-year study on investigative learning in mathematics.

Mirka has traveled extensively and contributed many of the photographs for her lessons from her personal travels. She also loves the outdoors, serving as a volunteer for the National Ski Patrol, snowboarding, and cross-country and alpine skiing. Other favorite activities include reading, cooking, scuba diving, rock and tree climbing—and occasionally spelunking.

Barbara Gottfried, Product Developer

A contributor to a variety of Impact Science units and lessons, Barbara has been an educator, author, and editor for over 20 years. She has taught, developed curriculum, created professional development tools, contributed to textbooks and reference books, and consulted in standards alignment in STEM and other subjects. An author herself, she has also written dozens of books for middle and high school students in the fields of mathematics, science, and economics.

Barbara holds a BA in Economics with a concentration in mathematics from the University of Michigan. She received a Masters in Economics, focusing on statistics and econometrics, from New York University. She serves on Rosen’s Teen Health and Wellness Expert Review Board.

Barbara is passionate about engaging all students in the learning process, focusing on differentiated instruction, real-life applications, and multi-sensory approaches. Her aim is to make learning interactive and accessible for all learners, especially students with disabilities.

Her hobbies include kayaking, hiking, cooking international dishes, and doing puzzles. Her talents are too numerous to count... she once won a prize for interpretive poetry!

Sitara Ali, Curriculum Developer and Presenter

Sitara started at Pacific Ethanol as their lead research technician focusing on quality control and researching more eco-friendly fuels. Now she is a science teacher and Science Olympiad Coach at her middle school, as well as a teacher mentor for new teachers for CSU Stanislaus.

Sitara was able to contribute many lessons and projects to Impact Science as a curriculum developer, despite her very busy schedule. She is an engaging presenter who uses her passion for science education and NGSS to teach other teachers how to implement an anchor phenomenon driven curriculum.

Sitara holds a BS in Biology from CSU Sacramento. She received her Teaching Credential and Masters from USC, and is currently pursuing her Administrative Credential

Sitara loves anything that has to do with dogs, has two of her own, and would bring them to her classroom every day if she were allowed to! She loves reading books and watching movies, but most of all the simple pleasures of eating good food.

Marlene Larios, Curriculum Developer and Presenter

Marlene started out at Dole as a microbiologist in their analytical lab testing frozen fruit for pathogenic bacteria before consumer release. She eventually left to bring her passion for science to the education world.

Marlene is currently a 7th grade science teacher, Science Olympiad Coach, and PLC Lead at her school.

Despite her full schedule, she contributed many lessons and lesson ideas to Impact Science as a curriculum developer. Marlene uses her experiences in the classroom to teach other teachers how to implement and use the curriculum in the classroom.

Marlene holds a BS in Biological Sciences and Teaching Credential from CSU Stanislaus. Currently she is pursuing her Masters in Education for STEM Leadership from American College of Education.

In her spare time, Marlene enjoys running, gardening, and collecting vinyl records.

Larissa Walder, Curriculum Developer and Presenter

Larissa originally came to the Bay Area for college, and finished at UC Berkeley with a B.S. in biology and a minor in science education. Her passion for engaging students in hands-on learning led her to teach middle school science at several schools in the Bay Area.

Larissa is excited about the new wave of science education where kids do science rather than just learn about it from a book or video, and she has had a blast being part of the curriculum writing team at Impact Science. She is currently a presenter and teacher trainer for both Impact Science and the California Academy of Sciences. When not at work, Larissa can be found hiking, biking, and exploring the food scene of San Francisco, or looking at random insects in parks.

Doug Hamilton, Sales Director

Doug taught high school social studies for 13 years and then moved into the renewable energy field where he spent the next eleven years in Residential Solar Energy as a sales representative, trainer, and sales manager.

As a high school social studies teacher, Doug worked hard to bring history to life through active simulations and historical perspective. His emphasis was on students exercising their critical thinking muscles and discerning how the past influences the present.

Now back in the world of education, he is inspired by the innovative Impact Science Education curriculum. As a parent and teacher, his mission to help transform science education is personal as well as professional. He feels that student engagement is the key to grasping complex concepts and becoming a lifelong learner.

Doug holds a BA in History (with a science minor) from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his teaching credential and Masters in Education from Stanford University.

Doug’s hobbies include skiing, tennis, Ultimate frisbee, fishing, and crabbing. But that’s not all; he also sings and plays piano in a rock and roll band. We’re trying to figure out when he sleeps.

Mary Baldizan, Account Manager

For almost 20 years Mary has partnered with schools and districts around the world to support administrators and teachers as they explore new curriculum and technology. Although much of her career has been spent working with mathematics and foreign language products, she couldn’t pass up the chance to work with the Impact Science Education team and their exciting program.

Mary’s tenacious spirit doesn’t stop at the purchase of a program, but endures through the successful implementation of the curriculum or tool. It is her firm belief that her job is to make sure that the teams she works with are having as much fun and fulfillment from the programs as possible.

Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, and trying to keep up with her twin daughters and 15 nieces and nephews. During the baseball season, you can often find her at a ballgame, especially when the Angels are in town. Her secret talent is she knows ALL the words to Don McLean’s American Pie.

Elle Morosoli, Account Manager

Elle started her education career teaching in the Peace Corps (Ecuador) right after graduating from UC Berkeley.

In her prior life Elle lived in NYC and LA, directing and producing documentaries and television programs. She eventually returned to education and received an MS Ed from Bank Street College in New York. Over 100 years old, the Bank Street School is known for progressive, exploratory, and student-centered pedagogy. This is Elle’s philosophy of education as well, which is what ultimately drew her to Impact Science Education.

Elle has taught in private and public schools over the past 17 years. Over her tenure, she has done a variety of things, including creating a student-run daily broadcast station, mentoring new teachers, and serving as a summer school principal and assistant principal.

Elle holds an MA in Administration from San Francisco State University. She recently relocated to Napa where in her spare time she can be found watching birds, hiking, exploring museums, redesigning an old house, creating art, and enjoying friends and family.

Alex Kushner, Outreach Coordinator / Production Manager

Alex was inspired by the opportunity to join Impact Science Education in their mission to make science education engaging, accessible, and fascinating. Alex is focused on outreach to users, but he has numerous talents and is involved in almost every aspect of the business, including writing, editing, production, and sales.

After studying English and Philosophy in college, Alex reluctantly left the world of education to pursue a career in writing. As a veterinary author, he rediscovered his passion for science and for teaching others using clear, concise language.

Alex’s chief hobbies are reading, rock climbing, bird watching, and board games. He also has a deep and abiding passion for traditional Celtic folk music—especially anything with Irish bagpipes.

Holly Abbassi, Outreach Coordinator

Holly’s first real job was with the educational company ips Publishing, creators of Exam in a Can! Since then, Holly has worked and developed her skills in sales and marketing, grant writing, and office and personnel management. Most recently she was program manager for an inner-city after school program that empowers youth in K-8 with multimedia skills and filmmaking projects.

Holly is a fan of travel, real football (Go Manchester City!), theatre, reading, and dusting—yes, dusting! It’s very therapeutic.

Merrin Clough, Outreach Coordinator

Merrin has worked in different aspects of education. As an elementary teacher she loved guiding hands-on learning that was grounded in children’s real life experiences. As a non-profit consultant she helped organizations navigate change by strengthening leadership, enriching programs, and improving administration. Most recently she worked as a director of family programs in Unitarian Universalist churches on the east and west coasts. She has a BA in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College.

Merrin is delighted to join the Impact Science Education team as an Outreach Coordinator. During the rest of her time she cares for her young daughter. Favorite activities include discovering new playgrounds, blowing bubbles, and generally re-discovering the world from the point of view of a toddler.

Rafael Johns, Marketing Coordinator

Rafael currently contributes to editorial and marketing copy as well as social media marketing support at Impact Science Education. Giving teachers the tools to inspire students like him, who might not fit in perfectly in the current scholastic system, is really important to Rafael, and he believes science is a great medium to do that.

Rafael has always been interested in science fiction. Authors like Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany got Rafael to think of the world around him as a wondrous place, and it was through this exposure that he got interested in science. He has written and recorded pieces for radio broadcast and worked for a time in the tech industry in San Francisco.

Rafael loves singing and listening to pop music, writing short stories and articles, and experimenting in cooking, which he would also argue is a practical application of scientific knowledge. As a long-term project, he is working on music and lyrics for Impact Science, The Musical.

Hooshang Malek, Chief Financial Officer

Hooshang has many years of experience in engineering and management of major oil and gas industry projects. He also founded and managed two different civil engineering companies over the years.

In his current role, he is both a business advisor and CFO for Impact Science Education.

With his background as an engineer, Hooshang is always generous with his advice on projects and can fix nearly anything. We have yet to stump him. You can try.

Bramble, Director of HR and Wellness Coordinator

As Director of HR, Bramble meets and approves all new hires. As Wellness Coordinator, she is influential in the company culture and maintains an ongoing stress-reduction program for all team members.

Despite her multiple roles and busy schedule, Bramble will always make time for a sit-down meeting.

Bramble’s favorite sport is table tennis and her favorite board game is Scrabble.



Linda Laskowski, Business Strategy Advisor

Managing Director Golden Seeds, Former VP AT&T Broadband






Steve Rasmussen, Publishing Industry Advisor

Co-Founder and Former CEO, Key Curriculum Press and KCP Technologies






Nancy Hayes, Business Strategy Advisor

Former Dean of Business SFSU, Former VP IBM






Brian Hoey, Publishing Industry Advisory

Former Executive Director, CPM Educational Program




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