Martha is the project’s PI. She brings 18+ years of experience in the field of engineering education and will actively oversee and participate in the inclusion of engineering in the developed lessons, hold monthly meetings of all key personnel on the grant, quarterly meetings with the key personnel and advisory board, and generally supervise the process of how the project is run. Dr. Martha Cyr is currently the Executive Director of the newly founded STEM Education Center and a faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI.) Dr. Cyr has been leading innovation in the integration of engineering in K-12 classrooms since 1995. She was the founding director of the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach at Tufts and served in that role for six years. While in that position, she played an active part in the revision of Massachusetts‘s K-12 curriculum frameworks – resulting in a learning strand called Technology/Engineering. She has headed up the creation of three K-12 educational resources; The Prentice Hall Science Explorer middle school science series of texts, the Making the Connection series of resources for introducing engineering, and the LEGO Mindstorms for Schools, using ROBOLAB series of texts.
Dr. Sarah Michaels, Ph.D. Dr. Michaels participates in advisory board meetings, helps determine the curriculum framework and student outcome and provides feedback on unit plans. Dr. Michaels’ vast research experience guides the project‘s team on research in early childhood settings and STEM education best practices. Dr. Michaels is a Professor of Education at Clark University. She is actively involved in teaching and research in the area of language, culture, “multiliteracies,” and the discourses of math and science. She was the founding Director of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education and works to bring together teacher education, educational research on classroom discourse, and district-based efforts at educational reform. Dr. Michaels‘ book Ready, Set, Science!: Putting Research to Work in the K-8 Science Classroom (2007, co-authored with Andy Shouse and Heidi Schweingruber for the NRC) summarizes a rich body of findings from the learning sciences and builds detailed cases of science educators at work to make the implications of research clear, accessible, and stimulating for a broad range of science educators. Dr. Michaels has been involved with curriculum development projects for Head Start classrooms in math and science.
Dr. Skorinko is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Psychological Science Program in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She received her PhD in social psychology at the University of Virginia. Her research program attempts to understand how factors in our social environment, especially those factors we are unaware of, influence decisions and interpersonal interactions. Dr. Skorinko currently serves as the President-Elect of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA).
As advisory board member Dr. Mullaney participates in advisory board meetings, helps determine the curriculum framework and student outcome and provides feedback on unit plans. His vast experience in early childhood settings helps guide the team on the Seeds of STEM development process. Dr. Mullaney is an adjunct professor at the department of Early Childhood Education, Quinsigamond Community College. Dr. Mullaney has over 30 years of experience in the field of early education and care.
Dr. Sherbourne serves as the liaison to the Worcester Head Start program. As advisory board member Dr. Sherbourne participates in advisory board meetings, helps determine the curriculum framework and student outcome and provides feedback on lesson plans. As the education manager of WHS Dr. Sherbourne serves as the link between the project and the day-to-day WHS needs, schedules, and long term plan. Dr. Sherbourne has vast experiences as a preschool teacher, Head Start administrator, and faculty member at Quinsigamond Community College.
As an advisory board member Dr. Figuerido participates in advisory board meetings, help determine the curriculum framework and student outcome and provide feedback on lesson plans. Dr. Figuerido has extensive knowledge of early childhood education, state and national requirements for programs including recent initiatives, and current research on best practices in early childhood education. She is currently the Director of Child Development and Education, Inc. where one of her many responsibilities is to develop and oversee professional development for Head Start, among other programs.
As an advisory board member Mr. Wolfson participates in advisory board meetings, helps determine the curriculum framework and student outcome and provides feedback on unit plans. Mr. Wolfson creates curriculum and professional development programs for Pre-K through fifth grade teachers. His programs build interdisciplinary learning environments by connecting literature to math and science using the engineering design process and thinking skills. Mr. Wolfson‘s experience provides the board with the insight and background needed to guide the projects.
This study is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A150571 to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.