Project Overview

STEM teaching and learning by design: Leveraging qualitative research to understand pedagogy and practice

Faculty Sponsor

Meg Gardner (


Educational Studies


Teachers act as designers of their classroom and leverage design principles to adapt nimbly in response to student needs (Jordan, 2016). This summer project focuses on understanding how task-based curriculum design functions to support emerging understandings through the close study of a group of undergraduates interested in STEM education. Student researchers will help collect and analyze qualitative data from a unique training program called the Virtual Galagagos. The goal of the research is to determine how participants describe their emerging professional identities and how these notions shift after engagement with design-based thinking practices. Student researchers will collaborate with a diverse team of undergraduates from Colgate as well as other local institutions as well as faculty and staff from across the institution, all with the collective aspiration fo support the success of future teachers in STEM education.

Student Qualifications

Student researchers should have an interest in social science qualitative methodology as well as STEM education. Ideally student researchers would have some previous experience in the realm of interviewing, transcription, and data analysis. Students will need proficiency with word processing programs. They need to be comfortable engaging with diverse groups of undergraduates and faculty.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 11/03/2022 and close on 02/03/2023

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (