Who We Are

The Evolving Minds Project brings together the expertise of learning scientists and educators from the Technology Education Research Centers to provide exciting research-based materials for teachers and students. 

Dr. Deb Kelemen
Dr. Deb Kelemen

Deb is the Principal Investigator of the Child Cognition Lab. She has been studying the relationship between children's concepts and their reasoning for her entire career. Deb has recently applied her research on children's learning to improve science education.

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Dr. Sarah Brown
Dr. Sarah Brown

Sarah studied education in college and became fascinated by how people learn. This interest led Sarah to pursue a PhD in cognitive development where she studied how students learn new strategies for solving math problems. Now she is part of the EM team where she studies how students learn biological concepts like evolution.

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Eli Elster
Eli Elster

Eli studied English and cognitive science at UC Davis, where he led and worked on projects ranging from creative writing classes for juvenile detainees to research on Bayesian mechanisms for causal reasoning. He now serves as Lab Manager for the Child Cognition Lab and Project Coordinator for the Evolving Minds Project.

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Aarti Bodas
Aarti Bodas

Aarti is a PhD student in the Developmental Science program who is interested in learning about how children gain scientific knowledge through informal learning environments (at home, museums, parks, zoos), and through informal mediums (educational media, games, etc).

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Dr. Gillian Puttick
Dr. Gillian Puttick

Dr. Gillian Puttick’s ecology research ranges from the feeding behavior of curlew sandpipers to the chemical “arms race” between insects and their foodplants. Seeing the pivotal importance of science education, she began to work in education research in 1991, bringing her enthusiasm for all manner of life forms to the classroom. Using an inquiry-based philosophy, she has brought fresh scientific discoveries to formal and informal settings through designing, developing and testing curriculum.

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Sally Crissman
Sally Crissman

Sally came to TERC after 40 years’ experience teaching science and heading science departments in elementary, middle, and high schools. For many years she directed professional development institutes for science teachers and has been a speaker, workshop leader, and consultant in the field of science education throughout the country. She has extensive experience developing science curriculum for the elementary grades and professional development programs.

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Sara Lacy
Sara Lacy

Sara Lacy is a Senior Scientist at TERC and is currently Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded project, Focus on Energy: Preparing Elementary Teachers to Meet the NGSS Challenge. Sara has worked at TERC since 2001, developing science curriculum for K-12 students (The Inquiry Project, Physics That Works) and material to boost the science and pedagogical content knowledge of in service K-8 teachers (The Fulcrum Institute, TERC/Lesley Masters in Science Education, Talk Science).

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