Danielle Harlow of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School was one of the organizers of the 2019 Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) held in Provo, Utah July 24 and 25. The conference, with the theme “Physics Outside of the Classroom: Teaching, Learning, and Cultural Engagement in Informal Physics Environments,” also featured presentations by current Gevirtz School students and alumni.
One UC Santa Barbara major presentation was joint poster session focused on research projects conducted in museums including Santa Barbara’s MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Alexandria Muller, Jasmine Marckwordt, David Sanosa, Meghan Macias, Alexis Spina—students in the Department of Education—all took part in this event. Along with this group alumni Alexandria Hansen (Ph.D. ’18), now an assistant professor at Cal State Fresno, and Javier Pulgar (Ph.D. ’19) also took part. GGSE students collaborating on presentations, but not attending, included Krista Lucas, Erik Arvallo, and Jim Gribble. Recent alumna Jasmine McBeath Nation (Ph.D.’19) also collaborated on the work but didn’t present. The UCSB group was joined by colleague Ron Skinner, MOXI’s director of education.
Danielle Harlow is a Professor in the Department of Education and Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Faculty Development. Harlow’s work focuses on science and engineering education for elementary school children and teachers and the role that informal science environments can play in children’s and teachers’ learning. Harlow also collaborates on multiple research and education programs with MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, a museum designed to encourage visitors to learn about science and engineering through exploring and innovating, a vision that aligns with national goals for schools. She is currently PI of two grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). One, in collaboration with MOXI, focuses on developing elementary teachers' capacity to integrate engineering into their curriculum through pre and post activities that extend the learning of MOXI field trip programs. The other, in collaboration with faculty from 5 universities is developing activities resources to help the public understand ideas related to quantum computing. Harlow teaches courses in the graduate program in Education about technology, STEM education, and design based research and teaches elementary school science methods in the Teacher Education Program. Each year, Harlow directs the UCSB School Maker Faire, where elementary student teachers facilitate interactive science and making activities for local children. She earned her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and M.S. in Geophysics at Stanford University.