About the Institute: names, faces, and bios of institute staff Institute for Inquiry  
Lynn Rankin
Director of the Institute for Inquiry
Lynn began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in the San Francisco public schools. She was captivated by “hands-on science” when she brought her sixth grade class to the Exploratorium and observed the kind of enthusiasm for learning and curiosity she had been trying to cultivate in her classroom. She joined the Exploratorium staff in 1975. Since then, she has developed science and professional development curricula; led workshops for students, teachers, and professional developers; and has been involved in program design. She helped found and served on the faculty of the Association of Science and Technology Centers’ Professional Development Institutes for museum educators. She serves on the faculty of the Center for Informal Learning and Schools, a collaboration between the Exploratorium, King’s College, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She served on the Committee on the Development of an Addendum to the National Science Education Standards on Scientific Inquiry, and on the National Institute for Science Education’s Committee on Professional Development.
Marilyn Austin
Senior Science Educator
Marilyn Austin, Teacher-in-Residence, joined the Institute for Inquiry staff after twenty-six years of teaching elementary school. She has taught science inquiry workshops for Marin County Office of Education and has offered Exploratorium technical assistance in Marin County elementary schools. She collaborates on programs and workshops with IFI teaching staff.
Patrick Dowd
Senior Science Educator
Patrick Dowd’s research background focused on how informal and formal contexts impact science learning. As a fellow with the Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS), he explored how environmental topics are taught and understood in informal environments such as field centers and museums. His doctoral thesis examined the link between science educators’ environmental identities and their practice in enacting an effective outdoor science education curriculum. His investigations took place at three field centers in the UK and at two science schools in the US that examined the narratives environmental educators’ used to describe themselves and their environment, and how these descriptions impacted their teaching practice. The study consisted of a mixed methodological approach using semistructured interviews, questionnaires, and field observation methods. Previously, Patrick worked as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Davis for ten years.
Paula Hooper
Senior Science Educator, Learning Research Scientist
Paula holds a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences with a focus on epistemology and learning with digital media. She has been an elementary classroom teacher; has worked on the design and teaching of inquiry-oriented science professional development experiences for K-8 teachers, administrators and museum educators; and worked with youth in informal settings on robotics and using digital design fabrication for their creative activism. Her research and teaching addresses uses of digital media to support STEM learning in both informal and formal learning settings from a sociocultural perspective. She is also interested in the design and facilitation of online communication and cyberlearning projects that complement STEM professional development. Paula has worked for TERC, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Shaker Heights public schools. She has served on advisory boards for Science Museum of Minnesota and the Technology Committee of the American Educational Research Association, and was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation.
Fred Stein
Senior Science Educator
Fred was the Education Director at the Science Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts, before joining the Institute for Inquiry staff. In addition to teaching high school biology and math, he has developed curricula, taught distance learning courses, and pre-service science methods courses. Fred holds an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Bronwyn Bevan
Associate Director, Exploratorium Center for Learning and Teaching.
Bronwyn Bevan is the Associate Director of the Exploratorium Center for Learning and Teaching. Her projects include Director of the NSF-funded CLT, Center for Informal Learning and Schools; co-principal investigator on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory educational outreach project; co-principal investigator on the Coalition for Science After School project; and leader of the Center for Informal Learning and Schools' Informal Learning Certificate professional development program for museum educators. Her main area of interest is supporting teacher practice, student learning, and curricular design through the development of relationships between formal and informal institutions. Bronwyn worked for the Education Development Center, Inc., for four years where she conducted classroom-based research on teacher-artist partnerships, as well as institutional development between schools and cultural institutions.
Barry Kluger-Bell
Assistant Director for Science at the Institute for Inquiry
Barry Kluger-Bell, Ph.D.(physics) is an independent Inquiry Science Education consultant based in Boulder, Colorado. He works with educators throughout the country in K-12 teacher professional development, science graduate student education training, informal science education, pre-school science education and science curriculum development. He also currently serves on the board of Denver, RAFT, the WOW Museum and the steering committee of the Boulder Area STEM Education Coalition. From 1988-2009 he served as the Assistant Director for Science at the Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry in San Francisco. He has also directed the Bay Area Science Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science, taught Physics and Math at Chabot Community College in California, and directed a program for incoming minority and economically underprivileged students at the University of California at Berkeley. He started his career in science education while still in graduate school by working with David and Francis Hawkins at the Mountain View Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Karen Wilkinson
Science Educator
Karen is a science educator for the Institute for Inquiry and project director for the Learning Studio at the Exploratorium. Of particular interest is the functional design of learning environments (on the internet and in the real world) to foster creative thinking and inquiry learning. She is currently developing curriculum intended to blur the lines between science and art education.
Mike Petrich
Science Educator
Mike is a science educator for the Institute for Inquiry and co-director of the Learning Studio at the Exploratorium.  He is currently developing curriculum that allow learners to build ideas for themselves through the use of new digital technologies. Of particular interest are activities that combine the use of new digital technologies with current and familiar technologies like hand tools, art materials, electronic components and everyday objects.
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