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Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits
is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recent recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. He has a B.A. from Moorhead State College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of South Dakota.
Vera Michalchik is a researcher social scientist at SRI International. Trained in both anthropology and cognitive science, she focuses on the social and cultural aspects of learning. Her recent research includes case studies of technology use and learning in informal settings, analyses of science discourse and communication, and studies of representational technology in learning science and mathematics. She is especially interested in how various types of social interactions and modes of communication support or detract from students’ participation in learning activities and how this affects issues of equity. Her work on such projects as ChemSense, the Community Technology Centers evaluation, and NetCalc reflect this interest. She has extensive experience in conducting case studies, video analyses of learning environments, and ethnographic fieldwork. She has a B.A. in film studies from the University of California, Berkeley (1985), an M.Ed. in human development from Harvard University (1986), and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University (2000).
Gil G. Noam is founder and director of the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resilience (PEAR), and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. Trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst in both Europe and the United States, he has a strong interest in supporting resilience in youth, especially in educational settings. He served as the director of the Risk and Prevention Program and is the founder of the RALLY Prevention Program, a Boston-based intervention that bridges social and academic support in school, after-school, and community settings. He has also followed a large group of high-risk children into adulthood in a longitudinal study that explores clinical, educational, and occupational outcomes. PEAR is actively engaged in research on after-school topics and is also working with Boston after-school programs, in partnership with Achieve Boston, to develop an after-school training and technical assistance infrastructure. Noam is also involved in a private-public partnership, which includes the Institute for Educational Science, the Piper Trust, and the Haan Foundation, in conducting a randomized control study of a reading and resilience intervention for young struggling readers in after-school settings. He has published numerous papers, articles, and books in the areas of child and adolescent development as well as risk and resiliency in clinical, school, and after-school settings. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal New Directionsin Youth Development: Theory, Practice and Research, which has a strong focus on out-of-school time.