Bronwyn Bevan

This fall, influential education researcher Bronwyn Bevan joins the University of Washington College of Education as a senior research scientist, bringing her expertise on how institutional settings influence learning opportunities to the Pacific Northwest. For 25 years, Bevan has worked to broaden and improve out-of-school learning opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse students. In particular, her work has focused on inquiry-based learning, tinkering and making in education, and policy advocacy for out-of-school learning.

“We are very excited to welcome Bronwyn to the Institute for Science + Math Education and the College of Education,” said Philip Bell, Shauna C. Larson Chair in Learning Sciences. “She brings deep expertise on how youth learn across settings, the unique role of informal educational institutions in supporting the goals of STEM education, and how to engage research and practice communities in collaborative problem solving and educational improvement. I know she is looking forward to building out powerful new partnerships related to our STEM equity mission.”

Bevan comes to the UW from the Exploratorium, a museum and research center for science, art and human perception in San Francisco, where she was the director of the Institute for Research and Learning. In this role, Bevan led the center’s highly regarded programs and initiatives for teacher development, community youth, learning in formal and informal environments, tinkering, extended learning and digital learning for educators.

“The Puget Sound area is so full of cultural and natural resources. I am excited to collaborate with local leaders to make the most of these opportunities to enrich learning for all students,” said Bevan. “I look forward to working with the broad range of cultural institutions in the area, building on my history of both art and science inquiry-based learning, to explore important problems and questions of practice.”

Bevan currently acts as principal investigator on several projects, including:

  • The Research + Practice Collaboratory, a collaboration between multiple laboratories, including the UW Institute for Science + Math Education, that brings educators and researchers together to develop more equitable innovations for STEM teaching and learning.
  • California Tinkering Network, a partnership between researchers and educators to collaboratively design, implement and study STEM-rich afterschool tinkering programs for young people from lower-income and historically marginalized communities.
  • Relating Research to Practice, a website that shares research briefs summarizing recent educational research, helping make some of the large body of research about STEM teaching and learning accessible to informal educators.

Bevan served on the National Research Council's Committee on STEM Learning in Out-of-School Time and is on the editorial board of the journal Science Education. She holds a doctorate in urban education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

“I have admired the work of the UW College of Education for many years, and over the last few years have come to be a collaborator,” said Bevan. “The UW is truly leading the way in keeping equity at the forefront of discussions about STEM education.”


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