Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education featuring Carl Wieman


Location: DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Leighton Concert Hall

This year’s inaugural Forum event featured Carl Wieman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and professor of physics at Stanford University. Wieman presented “Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education” at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 (Monday) at the Leighton Concert Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Wieman examined the discrepancies in the advancement of science compared to advances in science education, and how recent research is setting the stage for a new, more effective approach to teaching and learning. Michael Hildreth, professor of physics, offered commentary, reflecting upon the application of Professor Wieman’s insights to teaching and learning at Notre Dame. Rebecca Wingert, Elizabeth and Michael Gallagher assistant professor of biological sciences, served as moderator.

Carl Wieman holds a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He has done extensive research in both atomic physics and science education at the university level. Wieman served as founding chair of the Board of Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences and was the founder of PhET which provides online interactive simulations that are used 45 million times per year to learn science. Wieman directed the science education initiatives at the Universities of Colorado and British Columbia which carried out large scale change in teaching methods across university science departments. He served as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House in 2010-12.  Wieman has received numerous awards recognizing his work in atomic physics, including the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001, and for science education, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching US University Professor of the Year in 2004.

Carl Wieman Presentation (1.34 MB)