- About Us
- Join + Support
- About Us
- Join + Support
As Program Manager for the Institute for Inquiry, Michael Fairchild is involved in a broad range of programmatic and administrative work, including departmental planning, budgeting, grant proposals and reports, project management, and content production. Michael came to the Institute for Inquiry in 2011 with a background in university academic administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Lipscomb University and studied architecture at the Ohio State University.
Michael likes to read and think about the history of architecture and art, and is particularly interested in abstract painting. In his spare time he makes small abstract drawings and paintings in oil and watercolor.
Andrew spent the entirety of his professional career in informal education. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, he oversaw the development and delivery of educational outreach programs at the Chabot Space & Science Center which reached thousands of learners throughout the Bay Area. After spending two years in Exploratorium’s Public Programs department, Andrew is now the project coordinator for the Institute for Inquiry.
Rachel is a science educator with teaching experience at the elementary and middle school levels. She has developed and provided professional development and classroom coaching in inquiry science for teachers. In addition, she has supported several bay area school districts in implementing and/or improving their hands-on science programs. She is particularly interested in the intersection of science, literacy and math instruction in elementary classrooms.
Kelsey joins the Institute for Inquiry staff with a background in elementary science education and professional development. She taught fifth grade in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, before returning to her alma mater, the University of Missouri, for her Ph.D. in Science Education. During her doctoral studies, Kelsey was a research assistant for a professional development program dedicated to quality elementary science teaching, and taught preservice science methods courses. She also developed and facilitated workshops for educators at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska. Kelsey is interested in wildlife conservation, traveling, and exploring her new home state.
Lynn Rankin is Director of the Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry, a national professional development center for K–5 leaders and practitioners of elementary science reform efforts. Lynn has decades of experience in science curricula development, teacher professional development and program design in both formal and informal learning environments. She was a co-founder and faculty member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers' Professional Development Institutes for museum educators; she served on the faculty of the NSF funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools, a collaboration between the Exploratorium, King's College, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has contributed to numerous national publications and committees, including the National Science Foundation’s, “Foundations II: Inquiry, Thoughts, Views and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom”, the National Academy of Science’s committee to develop "Inquiry and the national Science Education Standard's" and National Institute for Science Education's Committee on Professional Development. She has served as PI on numerous National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and private foundation grants. She leads the US DOE funded i3 (Investing in Innovation) project “Integrating ELD and Science: A Professional Development Approach” and the BaySci Science Champions Academy. Before joining the Exploratorium in 1975, she taught elementary school in San Francisco Unified School District.
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 preservice science methods courses. Fred holds an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Cathy is a science educator with experience as an elementary classroom teacher and coach. She has previously taught in New York, New Jersey, Taiwan, and California. Her passion is student talk, which has led her to support teachers, schools, and districts with their oral discourse initiatives. She has been published in The Reading Teacher and presented professional development workshops in literacy and oral language. She has a BA from Yale University and an MA in elementary/early childhood education from the Columbia Teachers College. Her favorite exhibit at the Exploratorium is the mesmerizing and impressive Sweeper’s Clock.
Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Sarah Capitelli is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco in the School of Education’s Teacher Education Department. Sarah works with pre-service and practicing teachers to support their developing pedagogical practices for teaching bilingual, English learner, and immigrant students. She facilitates a teacher inquiry group comprised of USF graduates and current SFUSD teachers focused on supporting teachers’ systematic examination of student data to improve their teaching practices with English learners. She also coordinates the Bilingual Authorization Program at USF. Additionally, Sarah has been working with IFI at the Exploratorium since 2012 contributing a language development perspective to IFI’s inquiry-based science professional development work. Previously, Sarah was a kindergarten teacher in Anaco, Venezuela for two years and a first and second grade Spanish-bilingual teacher in East Oakland for six years. She received her MA in Early Childhood Development and Bilingual Teacher Credential from Mills College and her PhD in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University. Her research focuses on young English learners and their teachers and the role teacher inquiry can play in improving pedagogical practices for English learners.
Inquiry Science Educator
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 Exploratoriumâ€™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.