Science through Technology Enhanced Play (STEP)

In the Science through Technology Enhanced Play (PLAY) project, we are investigating how embodied play among elementary school students can be used to help them understand scientific phenomena (e.g., the working of forces, complex behaviors of bees).


An overarching theme in my work is the role of representations in supporting learning. For me, representations include drawings and diagrams as well as computer simulations and embodied skits. I am particularly interested in how these representations play a role in supporting classroom interactions. This theme cuts across all of my projects including some independent studies.

Teacher Cognition and Learning

I am increasingly interested in how teachers learn to teach and interact with their students. This theme is represented across a nubmer of projects.


This EAGER award uses Network Analysis to Support Digital Humanities Learning in Large History Classrooms. It is an innovative approach to network analysis that brings simultaneous multi-user predictive network data entry and live visualization into university history classrooms to support pedagogy and learning. Net.Create supports the collaborative generation of data as a method of interpreting evidence from multiple historical texts and then using network analysis to understand the complexity of historical interactions. Net.Create will also give practical guidance for how instructors in a variety of disciplines with similar complex interactions can adapt network visualization and analysis skills, typically the focus of STEM disciplines, to support students as they engage with humanities and social science learning.


Our goal in the BioSim project is to help early elementary students (k-2) explore complex systems concepts by engaging in participatory simulations where they take on the role of honeybees (BeeSim) or ants (AntSim) foraging for food. To support students in embodying these roles, they work with electronic puppets that help track their food collection activities and provide real-time feedback to them.


BeeSign is a computer simulation designed to help young students observe the behavior of honeybees as they collect nectar and experiment with the result of changing either the behavior of the bees or the environment in which the hive is located. As a research project, BeeSign was designed to help early elementary students (grades k-2) explore complex systems concepts in intuitive ways.

Black Death

In this series of projects, we explore how technological tools such as computer simulations and GIS maps can help undergraduate students engage deeply with the social, historical, and scientific dimensions of the spread of plague.

Learning Physics through Play (LPP)

In the Learning Physics through Play project, we first explored the potential of computer vision coupled with embodied play as a means for supporting students in learning complex science concepts. This project focused on force and motion with 1st and 2nd grade students.