Our STEM Teaching and Learning research investigates how teaching and learning practices, tools, and media impact learner outcomes and experiences.

The Center's current STEM Teaching and Learning projects are listed below. You can also read about our completed STEM Teaching and Learning projects.

Examining the Role of Authenticity in Informal Science Learning (2019-2021)

Dr. Martin Storksdieck, Dr. Shawn Rowe and Kimberley Preston are partnering with Dr. James Kisiel at California State University Long Beach and Jill Stein from JKS Consulting to conduct a critical research synthesis on the significance of authenticity or realness for learning in informal science education settings. The project seeks to better understand how different disciplines (e.g.

The Virtual Field: A Mitigation Strategy for the COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive disruptions in higher education. Faculty across disciplines are struggling to quickly transition to virtual classrooms. Nowhere has this been more difficult than in the field sciences, where first-hand experience with the complexity of the natural world is essential for applying classroom learning to authentic settings, developing deep content knowledge and skills, and fostering identity as a field scientist.

Convergence Accelerator Phase I (RAISE): Analytics-Driven Accessible Pathways To Impacts-Validated Education (ADAPTIVE) (2019-2020)

Drs. Martin Storksdieck, Nancy Staus and Heather Fischer along with Kimberley Preston are part of a transdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners from academia (Oregon State University, Arizona State University and Indiana University) and industry (The Boeing Company and Burning Glass Technologies) that is developing a career guidance system at a national scale. Through the development of powerful, data-driven tools, the ADAPTIVE project will support the tens of millions of US workers whose jobs are being transformed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation.

The Circuit: A Platform for Increasing Access to, Deepening and Researching Patterns of Family and Adult Participation in Informal Science (2019-2023)

Led by director Dr. Martin Storksdieck, Center researchers Dr. Heather Fischer and Kimberley Preston are collaborating with several partners to research and develop the Circuit, a mobile phone and web-based application designed to empower families and the general public to discover the full spectrum of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) informal learning opportunities available in most communities. Currently, there are no “one-stop” search platforms for these resources.

Developing Integrative Manufacturing and Production Engineering Curricula That Leverage Data Science (IMPEL) (2019-2022)

Center researchers Dr. Martin Storksdieck, Dr. Heather Fischer, and Kimberley Preston are collaborating with a team of researchers from Northeastern University awarded a $2 million grant by the National Science Foundation to design, develop, and deploy sustainable online courses and curricula that bridge the data science skills gap of the current production engineering workforce.

NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC) (2018-2025)

Dr. Heather A. Fischer is leading the Center team for the NESEC evaluation, with support from Dr. Martin Storksdieck, Dr. Matt Nyman, and Holly Cho. The purpose of this evaluation is to (1) Provide strategic guidance to the NESEC team on project focus and productive connection to external partners.