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Physics Education Research Conference 2019 Plenary Speakers

James R. Bell, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education

Jamie has been Principal Investigator and Project Director for CAISE, at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in Washington, D.C. since 2010. As a National Science Foundation-funded resource center for the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, CAISE provides a repository of project abstracts, related scholarship and evaluation reports for designers and researchers of informal STEM learning settings and experiences including museums and science centers, media and cyberlearning, citizen and community science programs and science festivals and events. Before joining CAISE, Jamie held a variety of leadership roles in STEM education and cultural institutions including at the Exploratorium in San Francisco where he led the High School Explainer Program and managed a renovation of the museum's physics exhibits and the Center for Astrophysics Science Media Group where he served as content developer for the Essential Science for Teachers: Physical Science video professional development series. Mr. Bell holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities where his worked focused on educational and developmental experiences for youth outside of the formal classroom.

Shane Bergin, University College Dublin

Dr. Shane Bergin is a physicist and a lecturer in science education at the School of Education, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland.

Shane and his research group are interested in informal teaching and learning in physics (and STEM more broadly). Our research sees us create, run, and reflect upon informal physics education initiatives. Recent projects include i) Quavers to Quadratics, where children play with ideas common to physics and music; ii) City of Physics – sparking city-wide conversations by placing 'physics adverts' in public spaces, and iii) Community Challenge – a co-teaching project that sees school children pose questions of their local community. This research is/has been supported by grants from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Marie Curie Actions, and the Irish Research Council.

Shane's interest in informal learning sees him contribute to regular radio slots on Today with Sean O'Rourke (RTE) & Futureproof (Newstalk).

Paula Hooper, Northwestern University

Paula K. Hooper is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her research and teaching addresses uses of computational tools to support STEM learning in both informal and formal settings from a hybrid of ecological and sociocultural perspectives. She particularly enjoys developing professional development experiences that help educators to come to understand computational ideas as materials for creating equity and inquiry oriented learning environments. She holds a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from the Media Lab at MIT with a focus on epistemology and learning. She is a former elementary classroom teacher and worked with youth in informal settings on robotics and the use of digital design fabrication for creative activism.