Dr. John H. Falk is a Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. Author of numerous books and articles, he is known internationally for his research on free-choice science learning; the learning that occurs in settings like museums, parks and through media. Falk founded and directed the Institute for Learning Innovation, a learning R&D non-profit. He taught early childhood science education at the University of Maryland and held a number of senior positions at the Smithsonian Institution. Falk earned a joint doctorate in Ecology and Science Education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lynn Dierking is Associate Dean for Research in the Colleges of Science and Education and is recognized internationally for free-choice learning research with diverse youth and families. She recently completed a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study investigating the long-term (5-25+) impacts of girls-only free-choice programs. Other NSF research: Denver Museum of Nature & Science: studying youth STEM literacy; New Mexico-based Pathways to a Brighter Future: encouraging incarcerated Hispanic youth in STEM. Lynn publishes extensively; she is on three editorial boards. She has received awards including: American Association of Museums’ John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership; invited speaker, NSF’s Education & Human Resources’ Distinguished Lecture Series. Lynn received her PhD from the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Bill Penuel is Professor of Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. He began his career in the field of youth development, developing expertise in program development and evaluation. Bill is the author of over 60 refereed journal articles and conference papers. He recently edited two National Society for the Study of Education Yearbooks: Learning Research as a Human Science and Design-Based Implementation Research. He serves on the editorial board for Teachers College Record, American Journal of Evaluation, and Cognition and Instruction. He is co-chair of the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, which will be hosted at CU-Boulder in June 2014. Bill received his PhD in Development Psychology from Clark University.