Webinar 3: Perspectives on Foundational Knowledge

Sept 23, 2020 - This event has already taken place

2 ET / 1 CT / 12 MT / 11 PT (1.25 hr duration)

Click to view or download the webinar recording (MP4 Video 439MB Sep23 20).


Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA

Susan Singer, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Professor at Rollins College


Foundational Knowledge is the core knowledge that is essential for learners to obtain as part of STEM programs. In this webinar, we will consider how traditional notions of Foundational Knowledge should be balanced against Meta-Knowledge and Humanistic Knowledge in the design of future STEM programs.

Thomas Zurbuchen, Ph.D.

Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA

Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen is NASA's Associate Administrator of Science and responsible for NASA's Science program, including Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics with a total budget of approximately $7B/yr. With this program and a diverse set of leaders, he is helping answer some of humanity's biggest questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone? How does the universe work? Growing up in Switzerland, Dr. Zurbuchen was a keen observer of the natural world from an early age and received a public education with doctorate and Master of Science degrees in physics from University of Bern. His science and leadership career focused on solar, heliospheric and planetary instrumentation and data analysis as a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he taught Space Science, Aerospace Engineering and Innovation-focused classes. He led several University of Michigan innovation initiatives in education and research, one of which led to the top-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program nationally. He joined NASA in 2016. His honors include induction as a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the 2018 Heinrich-Greinacher prize from the University of Bern. Dr. Zurbuchen engages people worldwide with NASA's work and the inspiration through science. He can be found on Twitter @Dr_ThomasZ.

Susan Singer, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Professor at Rollins College

Prior to becoming Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Rollins, Susan Singer was Division Director for Undergraduate Education at NSF and Gould Professor of Biology at Carleton, where she directed the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching. She pursues a career integrating science and education aimed at improving undergraduate education at scale. Susan is a AAAS fellow, and recipient of the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey award. She is past-chair of AAAS' Education Section and serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine's Roundtable on Systematic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education and the Board on Life Sciences. She chaired the several National Academies' studies, including Discipline- based Education Research.