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Project Staff

Principal Investigator

Chris Dede

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. His funded research includes seven current grants from NSF, Qualcomm, the Gates Foundation, and the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences to explore immersive simulations and transformed social interactions as means of student engagement, learning, and assessment. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. His co-edited book, Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2005. A second volume he edited, Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods, was published by the Harvard Education Press in 2006. His latest book, Digital Teaching Platforms, will be published by Teachers College Press in 2012.

Co-Principal Investigator

Tina Grotzer

Tina Grotzer is an associate professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a principal investigator at Harvard Project Zero, and a faculty member at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. Her research identifies ways in which understandings about the nature of causality impact our ability to deal with complexity in our world and has four dominant strands: 1) How reasoning about causal complexity interacts with our decisions in the everyday world; 2) How causal understanding develops in supported contexts; 3) How causal understanding interacts with science learning (with the goal of developing curriculum to support deep understanding); and 4) the public understanding of science given the nature of science, the nature of causal complexity and the architecture of the human mind.

Tina directs the Understandings of Consequence Research Unit focused on understanding Causal Cognition in a Complex World. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was awarded a Career Award from NSF in 2009 to enable her to extend this inquiry in new directions and to fund the work of doctoral students studying with her.

Project Director

Shari Metcalf

Shari Metcalf is Project Director of the EcoMUVE project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously she worked as a research scientist at the Concord Consortium on a number of educational technology projects in science, math, and sustainability education, including research on computer-based data collection and analysis tools for middle school science students. She holds a BS and MS from MIT, and a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan. Her PhD research involved the design and development of Model-It, a software tool for students building models of dynamic systems. Her professional focus is the design of educational software tools, and in particular the use of modeling, simulation, and virtual immersive environments to support inquiry-based science learning.

Research Associate

Amy Kamarainen

Amy Kamarainen is a postdoctoral fellow with the EcoMUVE project. Amy holds a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison along with a Certificate in Research, Teaching and Learning (through the NSF-funded CIRTL). Amy uses ecosystem models to study how nutrients and pollutants are processed by aquatic ecosystems embedded in urban and agricultural watersheds. She is also interested in how technology may be used to enhance learning of complex concepts related to ecology, evolution and ecosystems science. In particular, she is interested in examining whether combining technology with field experiences can build student efficacy in 21st-century modes of scientific inquiry. Amy aims to contribute to teaching materials and curricula that place science learning in the context of real-world issues and appeal to students who may otherwise not like science.

Shane Tutwiler

Shane Tutwiler is an advanced doctoral student in the Human Development and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research interests are centered on measuring and impacting student learning in virtual and augmented environments. Shane has taught high school mathematics and science in the United States and Taiwan, and was a radiation health physicist and nuclear water chemist in the United States Navy. He holds a B.S. from Temple University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Software development by Information in Place, Inc.
Atom Tracker artwork by Singer Ko, with PublicVR - Jeffrey Jacobson, Director.
Microscopic organism artwork by Abigail Evans

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Participating Schools

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