Professor and Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich, Switzerland
An engineer by bachelors training, Manu was a pre-university mathematics teacher for five years before receiving his doctorate in instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, where he also completed a Master of Science in Applied Statistics.He also has a Master of Education from the NIE. Early in his academic career, Manu directed a $50m interactive and digital media R&D program at the Ministry of Education of Singapore to jumpstart research on interactive and digital media in education in Singapore.
Manu conceptualized the notion of productive failure and has used it to explore the hidden efficacies in the seemingly failed efforts of small groups solving complex problems collaboratively in an online environment. Manu has done extensive work in real-field ecologies of mathematics classrooms to extend his work on productive failure across a range of schools in Singapore.
Manu’s research has attracted high profile media interest (e.g., TIME, The Australian, The Straits Times, The Times of India, The CONVERSATION, etc.) and approximately US$3m in funding in Singapore and internationally. He has been invited to present major keynote addresses around the world, and his work has been published in the top journals in the field.
Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University (in Manchester, UK), in the Education & Social Research Institute
Ricardo Nemirovsky has a background in physics, which he studied in his native Argentina, Mexico and the US. He became interested in science education and earned his Doctor of Education degree at Harvard in 1992. Since then he has been the co-director of the Research Center at TERC, an educational non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Nemirovsy’s research program focuses on an investigation of the embodied nature of cognition, with an emphasis on the roles of body motion and kinesthesia in mathematics learning. Proponents of embodied cognition hold that cognitive processes are deeply rooted in the body’s interactions with the world and with others and that perceptuo-motor activity is embedded in the use and production of tools and symbols. Dr. Nemirovsky’s pioneering research on the embodied nature of cognition and on the creative use of mathematical artifacts has been influential and has resulted in a number of well-cited papers. Over the past ten years, he has obtained over $9 million in external funding. At the national level and international levels, Dr. Nemirovsky has distinguished himself as a leader who works with a broad variety of researchers ranging from physicists to semioticians and most recently cognitive neuroscientists. Additionally, he has designed numerous mechanical devices and software to enrich the learning of mathematics, including several math-oriented exhibits for science and technology museums.
Professor of Cultural Psychology and the Anthropology of Knowledge at the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany
Already during her first degree in Psychology, Estrid Sørensen dedicated herself to the question of how things, technologies and other materials get involved in human emotional, cognitive and practical lives, and how they contribute to shaping these. She was initially interested in researching digital technologies, but realized in her primary school studies in Denmark the importance non-digital materials such as blackboards, notebooks and pencil cases. While broadly overlooked in research on educational technology, she discovered how these ‘boring things’ centrally shape teaching and thus also learning. In her book on Materiality of Learning: Technology and Knowledge in Educational Practice (Cambridge, 2009) she presented micro-analytic studies of things in educational interactions. Comparing the engagement with digital and non-digital educational materials in schools, she showed how traditional instructional materials are generally much better integrated into the complex arrangement of things and humans that make up everyday schooling, than are digital technologies. As a Professor of Cultural Psychology and the Anthropology of Knowledge at the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany, she continues studying how objects shape everyday lives in a variety of contexts such as educational assessment exercises, computer game activities, psychological knowledge practices. In 2019 she established the Ruhr Science and Technology Studies Lab (RUSTlab), whose aim is to develop both digital and non-digital tools and methods to engage in interdisciplinary and participatory knowledge practices.
Ilona Iłowiecka-Tańska, PhD
Head of the research department
She is an anthropologist of culture interested above all in the changes in the perception of science and scientists and transformations of their social role. She thinks that these tranformations have a huge influence on our culture. At the Copernicus Science Center, she conducts research projects focused on the students’ science capital. She observes visiting styles of our exhibitions and tries to find the answer to the question why people experience them in so many different ways.
Historian of philosophy, co-founder and CEO of the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw
Passionate about modern science communication and informal learning, for years actively engaged in the development of modern science communication in Poland and beyond. For outstanding achievements in this field, in 1998 he received the prestigious Hugo Steinhaus award. Co-founder and organizer of the Science Picnic in Warsaw – Europe’s largest outdoor science communication event. Since 2008 member of the board of the European Association of Science Centres and Museums (ECSITE) and, in 2011-2013, president of the board of the organization. Since 2017 member of the board of the Association of Science and Technology Centres (ASTC). He is also a member of the Science Communication Council of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Science Festival Programme Board.
President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science
Under Dr. Honey’s leadership, the New York Hall of Science has become a leader in design-based learning, and in research that studies the role this type of learning plays in promoting student interest and achievement in STEM subjects. She is widely recognized for her work using digital technologies to support children’s learning across the disciplines of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. A graduate of Hampshire College with a doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University, Dr. Honey’s work has helped to shape the best thinking about learning and technology with special attention to traditionally underserved audiences. She has directed numerous research projects including efforts to identify teaching practices and assessments for 21st-century skills, and new approaches to teaching computational science in high schools. Dr. Honey has shared what she’s learned before Congress, state legislatures and federal panels, and through numerous articles, chapters and books. Her book, Design, Make, Play – Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators, explores the potential of these strategies for supporting student engagement and deeper learning.