Program/Areas of Interest
STEM Learning, Robotics and Computer Science, K-12, Informal, Design
Debra's research examines STEM learning in K-12 and informal environments. One line of this work explores approaches that increase CS engagement and learning to broaden participation of diverse and underserved audiences. A second line of work explores youth and professional engagement in design processes. Before joining TERC, Debra worked at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE), and for the educational television show Blues Clues. Debra holds an MA in Educational Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Selected Publications & Presentations
- Bernstein, D., Mutch-Jones, K., Hamner, E., & Cross, J. (2016). Robots and Romeo and Juliet: Studying Teacher Integration of Robotics into Middle School Curricula. Paper accepted at the International Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.
- Puttick, G., Bernstein, D., Kies, K. and Garibay, C. (2015). Learning and behavior change in a Girl Scout program focused on energy conservation: Saving energy to ‘save the planet.’ Journal for Sustainability Education, 45 (1).
- Bernstein, D., & Puttick, G. (2014). Seeding social norms about energy conservation among Girl Scouts. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 13(3), 171-182. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1533015X.2014.961887
- Bernstein, D., McKenney, S., Barber, J., Bopardikar, A., Drayton, B., Walkup, S., Pareja Roblin, N., & Schunn, C. (2014). Design dimensions: In-depth retrospective studies of K-12 science curriculum design. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE), Cambridge, UK.
- Touretzky, D.S., Marghitu, D., Ludi, S., Bernstein, D., & Ni, L. (2013). Accelerating K-12 computational thinking using scaffolding, staging, and abstraction. SIGCSE 2013, Denver, CO.
- Gomez, K., Bernstein, D., Zywica, J., & Hamner, E. (2012). Building technical knowledge and engagement in robotics: An examination of two out-of-school programs. In B.Barker, G. Nugent, N. Grandgenett, &V.I. Adamchuk (Eds.), Robotics in K-12 Education: A New Technology for Learning (pp. 222‐244). http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/building-technical-knowledge-engagement-robotics/63417
- Bernstein, D., & Hamner, E. (March, 2012). Exploring the impact of family involvement on youth engagement in a creative robotics workshop. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Indianapolis, IN.
- Bernstein, D. (2010). Robot Diaries: Encouraging and enabling technological creativity. Poster presented at the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Chicago, IL.
- Hamner, E., Lauwers, T., & Bernstein, D. (2010). The debugging task: Evaluating a robotics design workshop. Proceedings of the AAAI Symposium onUsing Robots to Promote Learning: Design and Evaluation.
- Bernstein, D. & Crowley, K. (2008). Searching for signs of intelligent life: An investigation of young children’s beliefs about robot intelligence. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(2), 225-247.
- Bernstein, D., Crowley, K., & Nourbakhsh, I. (2007). Working with a robot: Exploring relationship potential in human-robot systems. Interaction Studies, 8(3), 465-482.