Dr. Carol O'Donnell Co-authors a Public Report on Convergence Education

Smithsonian Science Education Center Director Carol O'Donnell co-authored a public report on convergence education. The report is titled Convergence Eduation: A Guide to Transdisciplinary STEM Learning and Teaching on STEM Education and was released by the Interagency Working Group (IWCG) on Convergence Federal Coordination in STEM Subcommittee Committee on STEM Education of the National Science and Technology Council. In the report the IWCG developed  a definition and overarching guidance related to convergence education. The report is particularly aligned to the IWGC objective to “encourage transdisciplinary learning” because it addresses the key federal action to support research, development, and dissemination on effective transdisciplinary STEM education practices, programs, and policies; and, it ensures Federal activities support the upskilling of educators reflecting transdisciplinary approaches featuring teaching that focuses on local and global community questions. It, also incorporates connections to the objectives to “advance innovation and entrepreneurship education” and “make mathematics a magnet.”

The report can be read here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Conver...

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About the Author

Dr. Carol O'Donnell



Dr. Carol O’Donnell is the Senior Executive and Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), an organization of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to transforming K-12 Education through Science™ in collaboration with communities across the globe. In her role at the Smithsonian (a non-profit with quasi-governmental status), Carol serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), an appointment by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and she serves on the UN Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity: Hybrid Learning. Carol also represents the Smithsonian on the Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM Education (FC-STEM), which advises and assists the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President. In her role on the Program Committee for the International Dialogue on STEM Education, Carol co-authored the position paper on “STEM Education for Sustainable Development” (http://bit.ly/3a3ObkS). Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Carol was a group leader at the US Department of Education, supporting States’ and districts’ implementation of ESEA programs; she also oversaw the Cognition and Student Learning research grant program of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Carol is the winner of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Graduate Research Excellence Award; National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity “Unsung Hero Award;” and the University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Alumni Award. She was honored to receive on behalf of SSEC the Smithsonian Innovation in Education Award for their work on the “Smithsonian Science for Global Goals” project. Dr O’Donnell is the Principal Investigator on an NSF INCLUDES and DRK-12 planning grant award for SSEC’s work in “Building Networks and Enhancing Diversity in the K-12 STEM Teaching Workforce” and PI of the grant “Integrating Inclusive/Universal Design and Accessibility Strategies into K-12 STEM Classrooms.” 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, where she earned her doctorate. Her TedX talk demonstrates her passion for integrating digital and physical interactions in science classrooms.

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