Our Team

robb-lindgren

Robb Lindgren is a Learning Scientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UIUC. He also has affiliate appointments in Educational Psychology, Informatics, and the Beckman Institute. Dr. Lindgren’s research examines theories and designs for learning within emerging media platforms (e.g., simulations, virtual environments, mobile devices, video games, augmented and mixed reality, etc.). He seeks to understand how digital technologies can be used to construct new identities and generate new perspectives that lead to stronger comprehension of complex ideas, particularly in STEM content areas. On the GRASP project Dr. Lindgren oversees the research design and manages the data analysis effort focused on identifying core mechanisms of embodied learning and reasoning in several critical areas of science.

david-brown

David Brown is an Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at UIUC and is a co-Investigator on the GRASP Project. Dr. Brown’s research focuses on the dynamics of instructional interactions in science. This research focus is informed by a complex dynamic systems perspective on the various dynamics involved with instructional interactions, including social, affective, and particularly conceptual dynamics. Instructional contexts include classroom instruction, tutoring, and technology assisted instruction. A current focus draws on this theoretical perspective in the design of online instructional environments. On the GRASP project Dr. Brown brings expertise in student learning of conceptually challenging science ideas to the design of the simulation learning environments and the analysis of data from these learning environments.

nathan-kimball

Nathan Kimball is a co-Investigator on the GRASP Project and a developer and researcher at Concord Consortium, in Concord, MA. For over 25 years he has worked in the field of educational technology, developing software tools and curricula for inquiry science for students in kindergarten through college. He has a science background in both physical and earth science. His two special research interests are the role of experimentation, data collection, and dialog in scientific sense-making, and the effective design, context, and interpretation of computer simulations in educational settings, with emphasis currently on early elementary students. On the GRASP project, Mr. Kimball manages the software development of the simulations used in the project and the design of the gesture-based control of the simulations.

rob-wallon

Rob Wallon is a graduate research assistant who brings his perspective as a former high school biology teacher to his pursuit of a doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction at UIUC, expected May 2018. His research interest is the use of educational technologies for science learning. He is currently researching how digital simulations are used in secondary science education.

nitasha-mathayas

Nitasha Mathayas is a graduate research assistant who has worked previously as a science content developer and consultant with several elementary and middle schools in India. She has also taught in an elementary school. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UIUC and her research interests include science education, digital learning environments, and collaboration. She has recently presented a paper at NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teacher) 2016.

christina-silliman

Christina Silliman is a graduate research assistant who is examing science literacy for her doctoral degree and is very interested in how physically interacting with abstract, difficult concepts can engage learners in a meaningful way. She has a background in science and has worked with several teachers to integrate nature (specifically bugs!) into the classroom to engage students.

polly-kroha

Polly Kroha is Project Manager for GRASP. She has worked as a high school math/bilingual math/computer science teacher, educational software programmer and designer, SAP software trainer, and as a managing director of a NSF nanotechnology center (Nano-CEMMS) at UIUC. In her role at GRASP she coordinates overall logistics and participant recruitment, purchasing, website development, HR, financial, and reporting functions.

shelana-martin

Shelana Martin is an undergraduate student majoring in Learning Educational Studies with a concentration in Digital Environments for Learning Teaching Agency, is minoring in Informatics or information technology, and is a Gates Millennium Scholar.