Fostering STEAM

Building on our previous NSF-funded Colors of Nature project, our team is offering STEAM-based professional development experiences to educators in a variety of out-of-school environments, including science centers, libraries, and after school programs. Through a partnership with NAEA, we also work with a national group of in-school art teachers. We prepare educators to work with learners in a way that fosters identification with science and art, enhances science and art learning, and promotes equity in science disciplines. Our research focuses on the ways in which STEAM practices are taken up by educators and implemented with youth. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.  More information can be found on our Fostering STEAM website.

Alaska EPSCoR Fire & Ice

This is a multifaceted project on which I serve as the Director of DEW (Diversity, Education, and Workforce Development). DEW partners with a number of organizations across Alaska to advance knowledge of change in boreal forest and coastal margins ecosystems. Our educational research component investigates the ways in which First Generation undergraduate students negotiate STEM pathways.  This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Hot Times in Cold Places: The Hidden World of Permafrost

What is the value of a real object? Many museum practitioners have argued that real objects provide unique learning experiences, evoking more powerful reactions than replicated or virtual objects. This project investigated visitor learning in response to real and replicated objects within the context of the nation’s only permafrost tunnel (in Fox, Alaska) and an associated exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation.

BRIGHT Girls (Budding Research Investigators in Geosciences, Habitat, and Technology)

Despite advances in equitable gender representation in some STEM fields, gender gaps remain in others. This project leverages girls’ documented interest in biology to open up new interests in fields such geophysics and computer science.  We investigated the impact of professional STEM role models on STEM identity and motivation during two-week summer academies and follow-up Saturday events.  This project was funded by the National Science Foundation.