2022 CASTeL 9th STEM Education Research Conference

24-25 June 2022

“Regenerating STEM Education – Growing back better”

Conference Speakers

Prof Mieke De Cock

Mieke De Cock studied physics at KU Leuven (Belgium) where she also obtained her PhD in Theoretical Physics. After her PhD, she worked a few years as a medical physicist at the Radiotherapy Department in the University Hospital Brussels. In 2007, Mieke returned to KU Leuven where she now is full professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She is responsible for the Teacher Education Program in Science and Technology and leads the APER (Astronomy and Physics Education Research) group. Her research has a strong focus on conceptual understanding in Physics and Astronomy and on the Mathematics-Physics interplay, both at secondary and university level.

Prof Maria Evagorou

Maria Evagorou is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education, University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Her scholarly activity focuses on exploring and enhancing young students’ and pre-service teachers’ argumentation skills within socioscientific issues (SSI). More specifically, the emphasis of her work is on students’ and teachers’ talk when they engage in the discussion of SSI and aims to explore ways in which teachers can be supported in their effort to include SSI in their teaching. Through the engagement with SSI Maria aims to promote responsible citizenship. Maria has worked as a principal investigator and senior researcher on various EU and local projects, served as a member on the JRST editorial board, and as a strand coordinator for ESERA. She has published widely in international referred journals, and recently co-edited a book titled Science Teacher Education for Responsible Citizenship: Towards a pedagogy of relevance through socioscientific issues.

Prof Mica Estrada

MICA ESTRADA is an Associate Professor at the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Nursing in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute for Health and Aging. Her research program focuses on social influence, including the study of identity, values, kindness, well-being, and integrative education. Currently she leads, as Principal Investigator, several longitudinal studies, which involve implementing and assessing interventions aimed to increase student persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers (funded by NIH, NSF, and HHMI). Dr. Estrada’s research focuses on ethnic populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education, most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and are providing diverse and creative solutions to the pressing challenges of our day. She received the Leadership Institute Graduate Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) in 2013 and the Adolphus Toliver Award for Outstanding Research in 2016.

Prof Hamsa Venkat

Professa Hamsa Venkat, is the new Naughton Family Chair in STEM Education at Dublin City University which will be the first in Ireland to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education at primary level and in early childhood education and will be based at DCU’s Institute of Education, Ireland’s only University Faculty of Education. Professor Venkat had a positive experience of maths at school in London, and she followed her early ambition to become a mathematics teacher, working for several years before moving into research. Most recently she held a chair at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where much of her research looked at ways to encourage both competence and confidence in maths among students and teachers. One of the initiatives, called ‘I Hate Maths’, recognises that teachers may fear maths and to help them develop their skills and enthusiasm without fear of reproach. Her new role will see Professor Venkat working with colleagues in the DCU Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL), DCU Institute of Education, DCU Faculty of Science & Health and DCU Faculty of Engineering & Computing.

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