Brian E. Gravel
Brian Gravel is an assistant professor and director of Elementary Education in the Department of Education. Beginning in 2011, Brian and colleagues developed the Elementary STEM M.A.T. program, which prepares elementary school teachers for engaging their students in the practices of science, engineering, and mathematics. The program focuses on (1) work in urban settings by leveraging a strong tradition of urban school partnerships within the department, and (2) it leverages the ongoing research on STEM at the K-12 level by faculty and graduate students in the department.
Brian's research focuses on students' representational practices in science and engineering studied using design-based research on learning technologies and socio-technical learning environments. This work builds on the development of SAM Animation, which is stop-motion animation software developed at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. He is currently researching ways of fostering disciplinary engagement and modeling practices through the development of new technologies like SiMSAM. And, he is researching makerspaces as representationally rich learning contexts where we can learn how representations are constructed, used, and revised in service of making objects of personal and community value. These projects include NSF-funded projects STEMLiMS: Investigating STEM Literacies in MakerSpaces and Engineering Inquiry for All in Nedlam's Workshop.