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Dennis Bartels


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Dr. Dennis M. Bartels
Executive Director, Exploratorium

Dr. Dennis M. Bartels, a nationally known science education and policy expert, became Executive Director of the Exploratorium effective May 1, 2006. He has joined the Exploratorium at a time when concerns about America's competitive edge in the fields of science and math are at the forefront of the national agenda.

Bartels holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. His work has received over $28 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and other sources. Dr. Bartels’ recent high-profile activities in the field of science education and policy include his appointment by National Science Foundation to serve on the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate Advisory Committee, and testimony before the National Science Board on the future of science, technology, engineering, and math education in the US. He was a delegate and speaker at the international Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Global Science Forum in Amsterdam, on Declining Student Interest in Science and Technology; the Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; as well as the Fourth Science Centre World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has testified before committees of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives, most recently before the full House Science Committee in the role of the National Science Foundation in K-12 science and math education. He has also been an invited guest and speaker on science and mathematics education in England, France, Japan and China.
From 2001-2006, Bartels was president of TERC, a nationally known education research and development center known for its innovative curricula, products and tools for teachers and students in K-12 classrooms. While at TERC, he led the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization’s efforts to expand its endeavors in online learning, informal science education, and after-school programming.
For five years prior to his tenure at TERC, Bartels was the Director of the Exploratorium’s own Center for Learning and Teaching, where he directed educational programming and was responsible for the establishment of Exhibit-Based Teaching Partnerships programs in science centers around the world, including Beijing, China. He directed a statewide education reform initiative at the South Carolina Department of Education, funded by the National Science Foundation, and worked with the University of California on school improvement efforts and other collaborative programs with the California State University and California Department of Education.

Dr. Bartels has been awarded the distinction of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Dr. Bartels was elected an AAAS Fellow (on Education) for his energetic leadership in systemic science education reform, informal science education, and research and development of innovative mathematics, science, and technology curricula.

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