Research Committee

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Maria Rivera Maulucci and Jomo Mutegi
Research Committee Co-Chairs

The Research Committee is excited to share the following news related to its various functions and responsibilities.

Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students (SKAIDS)

The Abell Institute poster session was very well attended this year. There were many strong presentations of research. The call for the 2017 Sandra K. Abell Institute is posted on the NARST website. We encourage proposals from members of the NARST community.


SKAIDS poster session at the 2016 NARST Annual International Conference


SKAIDS presidential reception at the 2016 NARST Annual International Conference


NARST Sponsored Sessions at NSTA

As part of our ongoing relationship with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), NARST members are able to present selected sessions at the national and area NSTA conferences. To have your 2017 NARST conference paper considered for presentation at one of the NSTA conferences, simply select this option when submitting your NARST proposal.

Research Interest Groups

Research Interest Groups (RIGs) provide a structure within NARST that allows members with particular research interests that are not captured within the existing strand structure to come together and work on common interests and commitments. Chairs offer updates about their RIGs below.


Jomo W. Mutegi (Co-Chair), Maria Rivera Maulucci (Co-Chair), Tamara Moore, Femi Otulaja, Renee Schwartz, Susan Kowalski, Mustafa Sami Topcu, Ling Liang, Laura Zangori Ying-Chih Chen, Umesh Ramnarain, Phillip Boda, Irasema Ortega, Tina Vo (volunteer), Kelsey Lipsitz (volunteer), John Tillotson (Ex-officio) & Deborah Hanuscin (Ex-officio)

Contemporary Methods for Science Education Research RIG

Joseph Taylor

At the 2016 annual international conference in Baltimore, the Research Methods RIG presented preliminary progress on populating its Research Methods Resource Center. The Resource Center is a public Google Site that can be accessed at:

In the coming year, work will continue to incorporate additional resources into the center as well as recruit additional researchers either to assist in locating resources or to review the resources found by others. NARST members who are interested in contributing in either capacity or just in joining the RIG are invited to contact Stanley Lo, Communications Officer, at

The leadership of the RIG includes:

  • Joseph Taylor – Chair, Abt Associates Inc.;
  • Bina Vanmali – Co-Chair, Arizona State University; and
  • Stanley Lo – Communications Officer, University of California, San Diego

and a steering committee consisting of:

  • Glenn Dolphin, University of Calgary;
  • Susan Kowalski, BSCS;
  • Molly Stuhlsatz, BSCS; and
  • Bud Talbot, University of Colorado, Denver.


Continental and Diasporic Africa in Science Education (CADASE) RIG

CADASE chair

Irene Osisioma

CADASE RIG had another very successful outing during the NARST 2016 annual international conference. It held a very interactive administrative session facilitated by Dr. Julius Davis, the invited guest. STEM Education for Liberation was used as a theme to examine the issues of equity and social justice as they impact people of African ancestry. Six sub-themes provided specific lenses through which this broad theme was espoused: students, teachers, curriculum, research and theoretical frameworks, policy, and community. Participants had the opportunity to engage in productive conversation about how to use STEM education as a tool to facilitate the empowerment and liberation of people of African descent.

The current CADASE steering committee is made up of 9 members, with Irene Osisioma continuing as the Chair and Leon Walls elected as the new Chair of the steering committee to replace Melody Russell who has rotated off. Gloria Hardrict-Ewing’s self-nomination as a new member of the steering committee was approved by the general membership.

The steering committee presented two documents to CADASE membership at the 2016 business meeting: a) guidelines and procedures for the smooth operation of CADASE RIG and b) a proposal for an annual travel scholarship to be awarded to a graduate student or a junior faculty member, subject to availability of funds. These documents are being revised based on suggestions from the general membership and will be resubmitted for approval during the 2017 CADASE business meeting. The steering committee plans to submit a request to NARST Board to provide financial support for the scholarship initiative.

CADASE steering committee plans to set up subcommittees to work on different topics during the coming year. Calls will be sent out to members soon. Registered members are encouraged to volunteer to serve in these subcommittees.


Engineering Education RIG

Cathy Lachapelle

During the 2016 NARST international conference in Baltimore, the Engineering Education (ENE) RIG held its fourth annual meeting, with more than 50 people in attendance. The ENE RIG also helped to organize three paper sets presented at the conference.

The goals of the ENE RIG are to synergize research in science and engineering education, to promote rigorous research in engineering education, and to support intellectual and professional exchange and networking. We host a Facebook group called NARST Engineering Education RIG, a closed group with 52 members: On this platform, members discuss their research, post their CVs and opportunities of interest to members, and propose collaborations. We continue to host a listserv. If you would like to be a member of the ENE RIG and join our listserv, contact Cathy Lachapelle (

The 2016-2017 leadership team is comprised of the following NARST members:

  • Chair: Cathy Lachapelle, Museum of Science, Boston;
  • Chair Elect: Tamara Moore, Purdue University; and
  • Past-Chair: Chris Schnittka, Auburn University.

Members-at-Large are:

  • Selcen Guzey, Purdue University (joined in April 2015);
  • Bill Carlsen, Pennsylvania State University (joined in April 2015);
  • Christopher Wright, University of Tennessee Knoxville (joined in April 2016); and
  • Kristen Wendell, Tufts University (joined in April 2016).


Latin@ RIG

Ingrid Sánchez (Chair) & Diego Perilla (Secretary)

The Latin@ Research Interest Group, LARIG, keeps on growing! LARIG has been expanding and strengthening its national and international membership by using social media. Join us on Facebook  Currently, our growing social network counts 77 members who share relevant job openings, research, and funding opportunities. We are also on LinkedIn (, increasing our members’ opportunities for networking and collaborating.

During the NARST annual international conference in Baltimore, LARIG organized the first pre-conference workshop ever focused on supporting the Success of Latin@ Scholars in Science Education. We had the privilege to have world class Latin@ researchers as panelists, including Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, Alberto Rodriguez, and Alejandro Gallard. They engaged the participants in lively and fruitful conversations, sharing key advice on funding and overall strategies to build a career as a researcher in science education.

Finally, please be aware that NARST offers a one full day conference attendance category at a reduced price for students and teachers. We will take advantage of this fee category by offering scholarships to teachers and students interested in participating in LARIG activities during the 2017 NARST conference. This way, more LARIG members can take advantage of spaces such as LARIG’s pre-conference workshop, focused on the career success of Latinx researchers in science education.