SueAnn Bottoms

Assistant Professor
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Office: 541-737-5959

Joyce Collin Furman Hall

Joyce Collin Furman Hall 304D

200 SW 15th Street

200 SW 15th Street
Corvallis, OR 97331
PhD, Science Education, Oregon State University
MS, Science Education, Oregon State University
BS, Biology, Eastern Oregon University
Curriculum Vitae: 

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Affiliated with: 
College of Education
OSU Main Campus
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Research/Career Interests: 

Research Interests:

I see myself as a broker among various professional communities. Each with its own unique social and cultural aspects to contribute to our understanding of science teaching and learning in different contexts. Drawing upon these experiences, I have developed my scholarship and pedagogy around (1) the nature of professional communities and the process of mentoring; (2) the sociocultural contexts of science teaching and learning; and (3) the intersection of in-school and out-of-school science learning. My research, teaching, and service focus on developing informed practitioners who are culturally responsive as teachers of science for all learners.

Current Research Projects:

Families Involved in Education Sociocultural Teaching and STEM (FIESTAS) employs engaged research in efforts to enhance children’s and families’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), to engage community partners in STEM teaching and learning, and to develop cultural competence in future STEM teachers in a university teacher education program.

FIESTAS is a partnership between community business owners, Boy and Girls Club of Corvallis (BGCC), Linn and Benton County 4-H, two local elementary schools (Title 1 Spanish-English Dual Immersion) in Corvallis 509J School District, and the Oregon State University’s College of Education Preservice Teacher (PST) program. This partnership facilitates weekly STEM after school clubs utilizing community-based teaching practices at local elementary schools. FIESTAS’ engaged scholarship model employs iterative research design and transformative practices that focus on engagement of all partners through ongoing communication, continual redesign, and authentic collaborative practices.

The FIESTAS project is part of a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant that funds an extensive after school program at the two local elementary schools of which STEM Club is a part.  This funded collaborative includes the OSU College of Education, Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, 4-H Youth Development, and Corvallis School District, among others.

Approximately 40-50 youth per year (about 70% Latino), engage in authentic science experiences completing an average of 50 hours per year immersed in experiential learning and developing the practices of science.  Highlights of the year include youth (a) taking field trips to identify STEM in nearby neighborhoods and working in teams to document their observations in short videos and (b) using “research questions” to investigate such activities as playground physics, schoolyard ecology, logging their findings, and orally reporting the results in small group sessions.   We have an approximate total of: 124 youth that have participated in the FIESTAS program over three years.

The FIESTAS project has received numerous grants and monetary awards that have been used for technology, supplies, support, and staffing that are directly applied to the children’s experience.  For example, we received a grant to develop culturally relevant science kits, which involved hiring three bicultural/bilingual university students to work with us to talk with family and community members at the after school sites.  

Based on growing interest in engaged scholarship by international researchers, major research funding agencies and American systems of classification and accreditation, Holland (2005) argues that engaged scholarship is an increasingly important factor influencing institutional diversity, scholarly prestige and higher education policy.  Key concepts of engaged scholarship in FIESTAS include: (1) research questions that come from the community, (2) research is done with the community in a reciprocal process, and (3) research that benefits the community.  

Research questions that guide FIESTAS work include: (1) What are the community’s needs in regards to children’s STEM learning?  (2) How are partners engaged in the FIESTAS model of STEM teaching and learning?  (3) What benefits do partners gain in STEM teaching and learning in the FIESTAS model?  In this engaged research, we explore these questions with all our partners.


  • SueAnn Bottoms (co-PI), Science Education, College of Education
  • Kathryn Ciechanowski (co-PI), ESOL/Bilingual Programs, College of Education

Selected Publications

Bottoms, S. I., Ciechanowski, K., Jones, K., de la Hoz, J., & Fonseca, A. L. (2017). Leveraging the community context of Family Math and Science Nights to develop culturally responsive teaching practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 61, 1–15.

Bottoms, S., Ciechanowski, K., & Hartman, B. (2016). Learning to teach elementary science to linguistically and culturally diverse children through iterative cycles of enactment. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 26(8), 715-742.

Pegg, J., Bottoms, S., Adams, A., Risser, H., Wu, K., and Kern, A. (2015). Finding FRiENDs: Creating a Community of Support for Early Career Academics. Brock Education: A Journal of Education, Research and Practice, 24(1), 47-54.

Risser, H. and Bottoms, S. (2015).  Who stays, who goes?: An examination of the persistence of teacher bloggers. Journal of Social Media Studies, 1(1) 135-143.

Ciechanowski, K., Bottoms, S., Fonseca, A., St. Clair, T., & de la Hoz, J. (2015). Should Rey Mysterio Drink Gatorade? Cultural Competence in Afterschool STEM Programming. Afterschool Matters Journal. 21, 29-37.

Risser, H. and Bottoms, S. (2014). “Newbies” and “Celebrities”: The relationship between ego network structure and evolving participation in an online teacher network. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 9(4), 433-450. 

Bottoms, S., Pegg, J., Adams, A., Wu, K., Smith Risser, H., & Kern, A. L. (2013). Mentoring from the Outside: The Role of a Peer Mentoring Community in the Development of Early Career Education Faculty. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 21(2) 1–24. 


Selected Presentations

Ciechanowski, K., Bottoms, S., Talamantes, A., Fonseca, A. (April, 2016).  Engaging Community and University Partners in Research: Families Involved in Education Sociocultural Teaching and STEM. American Educational Research Association, Paper presented at annual conference, April 2016, Washington, DC.

Ciechanowski, K., Bottoms, S., Talamantes, A., Fonseca, A. (September, 2015). Families Involved in Education Sociocultural Teaching, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FIESTAS). Scholarship of Engagement, annual conference, September 29, 2015, Penn State.

Risser, H. & Bottoms, S. (April, 2015). Blogging and Tweeting About Teaching: Tools for Reflective Practice.  Montana Academy of Sciences, presentation at annual conference Butte, Montana.

Ciechanowski, K., Bottoms, S. (March, 2015). “In a position to listen to students”: Preservice teachers engage bilingual learners in afterschool STEM. National Association of Bilingual Educators, at annual conference, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bottoms, S., Ciechanowski, K., Fonseca, A., & Talamantes, A. (2015). Critical Praxis: Situating Thinking and Practice in a STEM Afterschool Program. Association of Science Teacher Educators, Paper presented at annual conference, January 9, 2015, Portland, OR.

Bottoms, S., and Ciechanowski, K. (2014).  Disrupting Preservice Teachers’ Commonly Held Assumptions about Bilingual/Diverse Children and Families. Linguistics Association of the Southwest, panel presentation at annual conference, September 19, San Diego, CA.

Bottoms, S. & Hartman, B. (April, 2014). Learning to Teach Elementary Science: Using Video Analysis as a Reflective Tool, National Association for Research on Science Teaching, Paper presented at annual conference, April, 2014, Pittsburg, PA.


Grants and Awards

2013-2018: SuperSTARS: Twenty First Century Community Learning Centers, Oregon Competitive Grant.  Corvallis 509j, Corvallis Boys and Girls Club, and Community Partners (including FIESTAS project at OSU) awarded $513,000 yearly budget for five years for after-school programs, involving OSU preservice teacher education and 4-H faculty in leading youth STEM programs (2013-2018).

L.L. Stewart Professional Development Grant, April 2012-April 2013 ($4360), L.L. Stewart Professional Development Grant, 2013-2014 (Collaborating with K. Ciechanowski), $4400)
Center for Latin@ Studies and Engagement (CL@SE) Grant, $3000
PreCollege Program Grant $1000