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Dr. Christine Cunningham in Scientific American

Posted by YES Staff on Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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The YES and EiE Founding Director pens op-ed on need for engineering education.

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Dr. Christine Cunningham. 

Dr. Christine Cunningham’s opinion editorial was published today in Scientific American.

The article, “We Should Engineer Better Learning in Our Schools,” highlights the need for engineering education in schools. In addition to pushing for engineering’s inclusion in curricula nationwide, Dr. Cunningham also explains how supporting educators who teach concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) benefits students beyond the classroom.

A Lifetime of Educational Advocacy

Advocating for STEM education is nothing new to Dr. Cunningham. She has dedicated the past three decades to making engineering, science, and computer science education more equitable and accessible, particularly for underserved and underrepresented populations in STEM. Her research focuses on articulating frameworks for pre-college engineering education and exploring affordances of engineering for learners. The Senior VP of STEM Learning at the Museum of Science, Boston is also the founding director of Youth Engineering Solutions (YES) and Engineering is Elementary (EiE)—award-winning equity-oriented, research-based STEM curricula and professional learning resources for PreK-8 students and educators.

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Dr. Christine Cunningham speaking on the Museum of Science’s Day of AI panel. Credit: B. Logan. 

Dr. Cunningham also serves on several national advisory boards (such as the National Assessment Governing Board), and has been a committee member on six National Academy of Science and Engineering Committees. She currently serves on the PreK-12 STEM Education Innovations Committee and is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. She was a Professor of Practice in Education and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University and holds joint B.A. and M.A. degrees in biology from Yale University, along with a Ph.D. in Education from Cornell University.   

For her lifetime of service and impact, Dr. Cunningham has received numerous awards.  

Of note: in 2017, her work was recognized with the prestigious Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize is given to recipients whose outstanding contributions make a difference in the lives of students. In 2024, Dr. Cunningham was inducted into the National Academy of Education. She and 13 other inductees joined a rarefied group of over 300 members from around the world elected to the Academy on the basis of outstanding educational scholarship or leadership. 

About Scientific American 


SciAm Covers

Scientific American magazine covers. Credit: Scientific American. 

Scientific American is the nation’s oldest continuously published magazine. Founded in 1845, it has published articles from over 200 Nobel Prize winners, as well as scholars, scientists, journalists and others focused on scientific and social issues. It is published by parent company Springer Nature, home to Nature Research, Springer and other renowned academic, science, and research publications. 


To learn more about how YES and EiE support educators and students, please visit our website here. 

To read about Dr. Cunningham’s induction into the National Academy of Education (NAEd), please visit the NAEd’s announcement on its website here. 

To read more op-eds from Scientific American, please visit the Scientific American website here. 

Written by YES Staff

Topics: Engineering Habits of Mind, Professional Development, Engineering in Elementary STEM Education, Engineering Design Process, Museum of Science, STEM Education, STEM Learning, YES Curricula, Professional Learning, Classroom, Media, Interviews & Appearances, Christine Cunningham, STEM Teachers & Educators, Op-eds/Opinion Editorials, Scientific American

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