Without these scientists, engineers, and experts in technology and education, NOVA Labs would not have been possible.

  • Jamie Bell

    Director, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

    Association of Science-Technology Centers

    Jamie Bell has been the project director of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) since October 2010. He has over 25 years experience in informal science education working at the Exploratorium, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Science Media Group, TERC, Petrosains: The Discovery Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE).

  • Juan Burciaga, Ph.D.

    Visiting Assistant Professor

    Mount Holyoke College

    Professor Burciaga teaches physics and astronomy at liberal arts colleges with a non-teaching style, where students become very active in teaching themselves. His scholarship now encompasses pedagogy and curriculum development, including innovative laboratory pedagogy and assessment. He is presently book editor for the American Association of Physics Teachers and also serves as the education officer for the National Society of Hispanic Physicists.

  • Karen Cator

    Chief Executive Officer

    Digital Promise

    From 2009-2013, Karen Cator was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, leading the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan. Previously, she directed Apple’s efforts in education. She began her career as a teacher in Alaska.

  • Chris Dede, Ed.D.

    Professor in Learning Technologies


    Chris Dede’s research includes emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011, he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. His latest book is Digital Teaching Platforms, Teachers College Press, 2012.

  • Tony DeRose

    Senior Scientist and Lead of the Research Group

    Pixar Animation Studios

    Tony DeRose has developed technology at Pixar since 1996. In 2006, he received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award© for his work. He is also involved in a number of initiatives, including the Young Makers Program, to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring and relevant.

  • Lucy Fortson, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy

    University of Minnesota

    Dr. Fortson is deeply committed to improving the science literacy of all Americans through her role on the Executive Committee of the Citizen Science Alliance and the Zooniverse project. With projects such as Galaxy Zoo, Zooniverse provides opportunities for volunteer citizens to contribute to discovery research by using their pattern-matching skills to perform simple data analysis tasks and to become more deeply engaged in science research through social networking and simple data-processing tools.

  • Joshua Greenberg

    Director, Digital Information Technology Program

    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

    Joshua Greenberg leads the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's funding programs focused on the changing nature of scientific research in a digitally networked environment. He maintains active research and teaching interests in the history and sociology of information technology, the dynamics of public engagement with expert knowledge, and the methodological implications of new digital technologies for research. He has broad experience and understanding of the content and research needs of traditional scholarly communities as well as digitally networked services and tools to support myriad forms of public engagement and participation.

  • Rosamond Kinzler, Ph.D.

    Senior Director, Science Education

    American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

    Before joining the Education Division at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Dr. Kinzler’s research career involved investigating planetary differentiation through melting at Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and in the AMNH Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. In 1999, Dr. Kinzler co-curated the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, and in 2010, she assumed senior management of the Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning.

  • David Lawrence

    Chief Academic Officer/Principal

    Dayton STEM School

    David Lawrence has spent the last 16 years teaching, aligning curriculum, and observing instruction in schools throughout the country. He serves on three university teaching advisory boards, in addition to being a member of the Department of Defense Center of Excellence in STEM. He is involved in urban educational renewal and John Goodlad’s Center of Teaching Excellence and is a contributor to the Bernard Harris Exxon Mobile summer camp.

  • Dennis Liu

    Program Director

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

    Dennis Liu trained in neuroscience and genetics, holding a faculty position at the University of Washington prior to moving into educational media development and assuming his current position at HHMI. He has a particular interest in informal science education, having served on numerous advisory panels for museum exhibits and educational website projects. He is a contributing editor of the science education journal Life Sciences Education.

  • Martin Storksdieck, Ph.D.

    Director, Board on Science Education (BOSE)

    National Research Council

    Martin Storksdieck is director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council, where he oversees a wide range of studies related to science education and science learning. His prior research focused on informal, or free-choice, learning, including learning science from media and connecting schools and out-of-school settings.

  • Lucien Vattel

    Executive Director


    A prolific filmmaker, game developer, lecturer, writer, and philanthropist, Lucien Vattel was a cofounder/designer of the master's and undergraduate game degree programs at the University of Southern California, where he also served as the associate director for game research. He has over 10 years' experience as an executive producer and designer on a range of games for industry and academia.

  • Michelle Viotti

    Manager, Mars Public Engagement Program


    Michelle Viotti has worked for NASA in a variety of communications and education leadership roles since 1996. Earlier, she worked for Podesta Associates and Los Alamos National Laboratory. With degrees from Wellesley and Johns Hopkins, she is a University of Southern California doctoral candidate focused on educational technology.

  • Karen Cator

    Chief Executive Officer

    Digital Promise

    From 2009-2013, Karen Cator was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, leading the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan. Previously, she directed Apple’s efforts in education. She began her career as a teacher in Alaska.

  • Edward DeLuca, Ph.D.

    Senior Astrophysicist, High Energy Astrophysics Division

    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    Edward DeLuca has been an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 1993. He has been involved in developing and testing the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), a key instrument on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, and has played a leadership role in other NASA missions and international collaborations focused on the physics and behavior of the Sun.

  • Leon Golub, Ph.D.

    Senior Astrophysicist, High Energy Astrophysics Division

    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    Dr. Golub received his Ph.D. in experimental high-energy physics from MIT. in 1972. A senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, he was the U.S. principal investigator (PI) of the X-Ray Telescope on Hinode and the PI of the Normal Incidence X-Ray Telescope (NIXT) and the Tuneable X-Ray Imager (TXI) sounding rocket programs. He served as SAO Instrument lead for the NASA TRACE satellite, for the Atmospheric Imager Assembly on NASA's SDO, and for the new NASA IRIS SMEX. He is co-author of the textbook The Solar Corona from Cambridge University Press, and of the trade book Nearest Star.

  • Sten Odenwald, Ph.D.

    Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics Specialist

    Center for Integrative STEM Education, National Institute of Aerospace

    Dr. Odenwald is an astronomer at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center and a senior scientist with ADNET Corporation. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982 and has been involved with investigations of star formation, galaxy evolution, and the nature of the cosmic infrared background. He is an active science popularizer and book author and participates in many NASA programs in space science and math education. His most recent popular science article on solar superstorms appeared in the August 2008 issue of Scientific American.

  • Keith T. Strong, Ph.D.

    Solar Physicist

    University of Maryland

    Dr. Strong studied solar physics at the Mullard Space Science Lab, University College London and received his Ph.D. there in 1979. He studied the Sun at Lockheed Martin for over 30 years, starting as a data analyst and eventually becoming the senior manager of the Space Sciences Department in the Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California. He has been involved in many solar missions, including SolarMax, Yohkoh, SOHO, TRACE, Hinode, GOES-SXI, and SDO. Currently, he is researching the solar cycle and its connections, if any, to climate change. He also runs a YouTube channel that describes daily changes in the Sun.

  • C. Alex Young, Ph.D.

    Associate Director for Science, Heliophysics Science Division

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    As part of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Solar Physics Laboratory, Dr. Young develops signal and image processing methods and software to facilitate a more complete extraction of scientific information from solar physics data—both to aid the community as a whole as well as his own research into the prediction and understanding of the dynamic phenomena of the Sun we call space weather. To share this information with the public, Dr. Young created an online community, The Sun Today, that is connected to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (as "thesuntoday"). Dr. Young recently became the new associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division. In this position, he serves as the education and public outreach lead for the division. He has a B.S. in physics from Florida State University and a master's and Ph.D. in high-energy astrophysics from the University of New Hampshire.

  • Nate Blair

    Group Manager, Energy Forecasting and Modeling

    U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Nate Blair has been at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since 2002. His particular areas of expertise are energy system modeling and electric grid capacity expansion modeling, especially solar power (PV and CSP) and solar water-heating systems. His research interests also include economic energy-impact analysis and wind-power market analysis. He leads a research group focused on energy economics, grid integration modeling, transportation sector modeling, and risk and uncertainty modeling.

  • Debbie Brodt-Giles

    Digital Assets Supervisor, Data Analysis and Visualization Group

    U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Debbie Brodt-Giles has been at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) since 1995. She is an expert in advanced transportation and alternative fuels and data management and visualization. Her primary research interests include developing smart grid analysis technologies and creating online tools to make energy data more accessible.

  • Karen Cator

    Chief Executive Officer

    Digital Promise

    From 2009-2013, Karen Cator was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, leading the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan. Previously, she directed Apple’s efforts in education. She began her career as a teacher in Alaska.

  • Stephen Connors

    Director of the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives

    MIT Energy Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Stephen Connors is the director of the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives (AGREA) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative. Since the late 1980s, AGREA has conducted research to identify cost-effective and environmentally responsible local and regional energy solutions. Projects in the United States, Europe, South America, China, and elsewhere focus on the cost and emissions benefits of transformative energy portfolios. Mr. Connors holds degrees in mechanical engineering and applied anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as a master’s in technology and policy from MIT In addition to his research at MIT, Mr. Connors also assists the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative, the New England Clean Energy Council, and AltWheels.

  • Caleb Waugh

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student, Nuclear Science and Engineering Department

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    A graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Caleb Waugh is passionate about realizing a sustainable energy future that is informed by the best available science, economics, policy, and business strategies. With interest in the potential for high-risk/high-reward disruptive technologies in the energy space, his Ph.D. work with the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department addresses the technical and engineering advances needed to realize nuclear fusion energy. Prior to his Ph.D. work, he completed a master’s degree with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and explored the potential that air pollution policies have for reducing carbon emissions. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and philosophy and has extensive experience working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories.

  • Karen Cator

    Chief Executive Officer

    Digital Promise

    From 2009-2013, Karen Cator was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, leading the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan. Previously, she directed Apple’s efforts in education. She began her career as a teacher in Alaska.

  • Dan Cziczo

    Associate Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry


    Dan Cziczo received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has conducted research on cloud microphysics and climate science at a number of prestigious research and academic institutions ever since. Dr. Cziczo is interested in the interrelationship of particulate matter and cloud formation. His research utilizes laboratory and field studies to better understand how small particles interact with water vapor to form droplets and ice crystals, which are important players in the Earth’s climate system. His group's experiments include using small cloud chambers in the laboratory to mimic atmospheric conditions that lead to cloud formation and observing natural clouds from remote mountaintop sites and research aircraft.

  • Brian Kahn

    Research Scientist

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Brian Kahn received his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2004. He is a staff research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and works most closely with the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) group. Dr. Kahn's research focuses primarily on the use of satellite instruments to collect data on clouds, temperature, water vapor, and other atmospheric characteristics and then using these data to improve future climate models.

  • Rhiju Das, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Physics

    Stanford University

    Rhju Das started out as a particle physicist and cosmologist and received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. But after hearing an inspirational talk about ribosomes—a cell’s protein-making machines—he switched his focus to molecular biophysics. His lab concentrates on creating computer models and experimental tools to predict how biological machines work and to design new ones. Das and his team co-developed the Eterna game with Adrien Treuille’s team at CMU.

  • Mohini Jangi, Ph.D.

    Ph.D. Graduate

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Mohini Jangi received a Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in Philip Sharp’s lab. She studies how messenger RNAs are processed to create mature messenger RNAs. The careful regulation of messenger RNA processing is important in normal human development as well as in diseases like cancer.

  • Naomi Latorraca

    Graduate Student

    Stanford University

    Naomi Latorraca is studying for a Ph.D. in biophysics at Stanford University. She currently works in Rhiju Das's lab, investigating RNA structure and function. She has a degree in molecular biology and history from the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Adrien Treuille, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Robotics

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Adrien Treuille received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington Computer Graphics Lab. As a postdoc at the University of Washington, he was one of the creators of Foldit, a computer game in which users contribute to science by folding proteins. As assistant professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, his research continues to address complex scientific challenges through massively multiplayer online games like Foldit (protein folding) and Eterna (RNA engineering). He is currently on sabbatical from CMU at Google X.

  • Florian Block, Ph.D.

    Research Associate

    Harvard University

    Florian Block is a research associate and computer scientist at the SDR Lab at Harvard University. With a Ph.D. in human–computer interaction from Lancaster University, Florian designs, implements, and evaluates interactive games and visualizations about science. His work focuses on how interactive technology can be used to increase the scientific literacy of learners of different ages and backgrounds. Florian was lead programmer for the web-based versions of DeepTree and Build-A-Tree and lead user interface designer for the DeepTree.

  • Michael Horn, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor

    Northwestern University

    Michael Horn is an assistant professor of computer science and learning and the director of the Tangible Interaction Design and Learning (TIDAL) Lab at Northwestern University. The TIDAL Lab creates innovative learning experiences using new forms of interactive technology. Michael originated the idea and design of the Build-A-Tree game for the Life on Earth project led by the SDR Lab at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

  • Stephanie Keep

    Strategic Outreach Coordinator

    National Center of Science Education (NCSE)

    Stephanie Keep is the strategic outreach coordinator for the National Center of Science Education (NCSE) and editor of reports of the National Center for Science Education. She also works as a science education consultant for nonprofit groups such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)'s BioInteractive, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and WGBH/NOVA.

  • Chia Shen, Ph.D.

    Senior Research Fellow

    Harvard University

    Chia Shen is a senior research fellow and director of the SDR Lab at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. She was an early innovator in multi-touch human–computer interaction and visualizations. Chia is the principal investigator for the Life on Earth project. The project is a collaboration of computer scientists, biologists, and learning researchers from several institutions who are working to expand the public’s understanding of biodiversity and studying how people interact and learn from multi-touch displays. Chia and her team developed the DeepTree and Build-A-Tree interactive games.