Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice STEM Learning, College of Science, and Associate Dean for Research, College of Education, Oregon State University
Dr. Lynn D. Dierking
Dr. Lynn D. Dierking, Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Learning, College of Science, and Associate Dean for Research, College of Education, Oregon State University, is internationally recognized for her research in lifelong learning, particularly free-choice, out-of-school time learning (in after-school, home-, and community-based contexts), focusing on youth and families historically under-represented in STEM. She recently completed a retrospective study of the long-term impact of gender-focused free-choice learning programs on young women’s lives 5-25+ years after the experience; findings are described in, Cascading influences: Long-term impacts of informal STEM programs for girls, published in spring, 2013. Lynn’s other research projects include: a four-year longitudinal study, SYNERGIES: Understanding and Connecting STEM Learning in the Community, tracking the STEM learning trajectories of 10-year-olds, in school and outside school, in a diverse neighborhood of Portland; a Denver Museum of Nature & Science study to improve scientific literacy among urban middle school aged youth; and, the Hispanic Pathways to Green Jobs (Hispanic Pathways) project, offering informal science education experiences to New Mexico Hispanic youth, who have been or still are incarcerated in the juvenile justice system.
Lynn publishes extensively and serves on the Editorial Boards for Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship and Afterschool Matters. In 2006 she was recognized by the American Association of Museums (AAM) as one of the 100 most influential museum professionals of the past 100 years and received the AAM Education Committee’s highest award, the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership, in 2010. In spring 2013, she and John H. Falk were speakers for the National Science Foundation Education & Human Resources’ Distinguished Lecture Series. Their talk was entitled, “An ecological approach to understanding lifelong STEM learning: A story in two voices.”