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O'Donnell, Carol

Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center

Carol's research areas include STEM education, curriculum implementation, fidelity of implementation, cognition and student learning, and sustainability education. Carol's expertise includes building awareness for K-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of K-12 science teachers and school leaders; education research (randomized control trial studies); and curriculum development in STEM education both at the K-12 level and reforming large scale lectures to be more interactive at the undergraduate level. Carol has expertise in global STEM education and serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), the global network of the science academies. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Carol was a leader at the US Department of Education (ED) for nearly a decade, supporting States and districts as they built their capacity to implement and sustain education reforms and achieve continued improvement in student outcomes. She was also the Program Officer for the Cognition and Student Learning Program of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)--the research arm of ED, and works on STEM education policy in collaboration with OSTP through CoSTEM. A former K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, Dr. O'Donnell is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of the Physics Department at The George Washington University. 

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Research And Grants


Selected Publications