Kimberly Carroll Steward is a Doctoral Candidate and graduate research assistant for the High School Students' Climate Literacy through Epistemology of Scientific Modeling (CliMES) project. Because scientific modeling remains underemphasized in K-12 science classrooms, there is a need to learn more about the design of science learning environments that promote students’ model-based reasoning about climate. With funding from NSF (DRL 1720838 and 1719872), engaging in a 4-year, mixed-methods, design-based research project to investigate classroom use of EzGCM (Easy Global Climate Modeling), a web-based climate modeling suite designed to provide non-scientists experiences with climate modeling. During the previous years of this project, we have developed and implemented a 3-week climate science module for secondary science classrooms designed around EzGCM. Each year, we have collected and analyzed evidence of students' model-based reasoning about climate, including pre-/post- measures of students' conceptual and epistemic knowledge, curriculum-embedded modeling tasks, interviews, and video recorded observations of instruction to investigate two research questions:
- how do secondary students develop epistemic and conceptual knowledge about climate change?
- how do secondary science teachers support students’ use of EzGCM to develop epistemic and conceptual knowledge about climate change?
This project represents a new partnership between Columbia University, NASA, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, promoting cross-fertilization between climate scientists and science educators in partnership with Nebraska school districts.
Kim's research has been partnered with this project by examining the teachers’ implementation of the project-designed curriculum in secondary science classrooms. Kim is also interested in pre-service and in-service teacher education, professional development, and teachers’ engagement in science, specifically environmental education.
Before attending UNL, Kim was a consultant with Project Learning Tree, an environmental education curriculum development organization and an environmental education in the Washington DC metro area working with children as young as six months to elderly adults.
In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time outdoors and spending time with her pets, three dogs and three cats. She also spends considerable time in her garden, tending to her greenhouse and renovating her 110-year-old house, which she shares with her spouse.