Ryan L. Stowe

Ryan Stowe

Contact Information:
rstowe@chem.wisc.edu

Ryan earned his Ph.D. from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) under the guidance of Prof. William Roush. While enrolled in graduate school, Ryan was appointed a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Board on Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences. In this role, he contributed to the preparation of background and research materials for consensus studies on teacher professional learning, indicators of success in STEM, and impacts of authentic laboratory experiences on undergraduate STEM achievement.

As a post-doctoral researcher mentored by Prof. Melanie Cooper at Michigan State University, Ryan worked on several projects related to teaching and learning in chemistry. He led a team of teachers and researchers in designing, assessing, and refining curricular materials for a high school chemistry curriculum aligned with nationally deployed science standards. Additionally, Ryan conducted several studies examining student use-of-knowledge in the context of organic chemistry coursework. In particular, he studied student engagement in argumentation from spectroscopic evidence (a practice similar in many ways to diagnosis). Finally, Ryan served as part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on transforming introductory science courses at Michigan State University to better embody best-practices in teaching.

The Stowe Group at UW-Madison focuses on understanding how chemistry learning environments can engage students in making sense of phenomena in terms of atomic/molecular behavior. By foregrounding “making sense of phenomena”, we hope to illumine the predictive and explanatory power of models useful in chemistry, as well as emphasize the broad utility of scientific ways of knowing. This program of research is highly interdisciplinary and draws from literature in science education, cognitive psychology, and discipline-based education research. Ongoing projects range from small-scale investigations focused on modeling student cognition to large-scale cross-sectional studies comparing transformed chemistry enactments that enroll thousands of students.