Project Overview

Researching STEM education: Understanding teacher identity through a qualitative study of collaborative practice

Faculty Sponsor

Meg Gardner (


Educational Studies


This summer research project involves collaborative work in STEM education through a project referred to as Virtual Galápagos (VG). The VG project seeks to create interactive digital materials and curriculum for elementary aged learners grades 3-5 that convey science as evidence-based and applicable to the real world. Galápagos Islands, one of the world’s most dynamic and successful examples of conservation science, serves as the focal point for scientific investigation. Your role will involve evaluating the success of the program as it progresses throughout the summer as well as contributing to a research project in STEM education. This research is part of a multi-year project to understand emerging teacher identity as well as how teachers approach curriculum development tasks and make pedagogical decisions. You will collect data from a variety of sources including surveys, interviews, observations and videos. You will also be asked to compile and analyze these data to identify common themes and next steps. There is flexibility within the summer to locate your own personal research passions and expand on these interest. Join a team of students from both Colgate and outside colleges and universities with an array of talents.

Student Qualifications

Students should have an interest in P-12 STEM education research, in particular science education. It is preferred if the student has prior social science research background and some familiarity with qualitative research specifically. Students will need proficiency with word processing programs and tech related research tools. They also need to be comfortable engaging with diverse groups of people including local students and professionals.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (