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Maria Simani is the Executive Director of the California Science Project (CSP), a statewide network providing professional development for K-12 teachers in science. A physicist, Simani received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics the Netherlands and then conducted particle physicist research at DESY, Germany, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Simani also performed research on brain functioning and learning at the Keck Institute for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. Since 2012, Dr. Simani has served on the Science Expert Committee of the California Department of Education to review and provide recommendations for the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. Dr. Simani and the California Science Project have also contributed as lead writers of the new California Science Curriculum Framework. Currently, Dr. Simani serves also as member of the K-12 education subcommittee at the American Physical Society. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls nominated Dr. Simani in 2013 as one of the Trailblazer STEM Women of the Year.