Dr. Kathleen M. Vandiver

Director, Community Outreach and Education Core
Center for Environmental Health Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A., Zoology, Drew University
M.A., Vascular Physiology, Boston University
Ph.D., Comparative Immunology, Tufts University School of Medicine
M.A., Science Teaching, Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Teaching Certification in Massachusetts, General Science 5-9 & Biology 9-12

E-mail:  kathymv <at> mit <dot> edu

Dr. Kathleen Vandiver earned her Ph.D. in 1982 from the Tufts University School of Medicine from the Anatomy and Cellular Biology Department, and joined the research team at OPTRA, Inc. an innovative optics instrumentation company in Massachusetts. Later, in a career shift, she obtained a M.Ed. from Harvard University in 1990 with Massachusetts Teacher Certification at two levels, General Science 5-9 and Biology 9-12.  Dr. Vandiver taught science in the Lexington Public Schools (Lexington, MA) for sixteen years, where she began to develop the LEGO Life Science models before coming to MIT as Director of the Community Outreach and Education Core at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at MIT. Dr. Vandiver is the 2009 recipient of the “Educator of the Year Award” from the Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers (MAST). She also received the “2011 Public Service Award” from the Boston-based non- profit, People Making a Difference™ for curriculum development work with the Boston Public Schools. In November 2011, she was inducted into the Massachusetts Science Educators Hall of Fame by the Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers (MAST).

Related websites:

Samples of Vandiver’s current curriculum development work with the MIT Edgerton Center and with the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences may be found at: http://mindandhand.mit.edu/educators/educators.shtml

Examples of Community Outreach and Education programs for students and adult professionals may be found at:

Dr. Vandiver was featured in Life Science: Session 5 as an on-camera classroom teacher for the professional development series: 2002 Essential Science, Annenberg/CPB channel, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Filmed in May 2002. Aired in Spring 04. (Life science topic: Variation.)
URL: http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/classroom.html

Selected education-related publications, presentations, & press:

Murdock, L., Hansen, M., Kraemer, J., Vandiver, K., Hunt, J., and Hennessy, J. “Horace’s Fridays,” Educational Leadership ASCD Vol. 53, No. 3, p. 37, November 1995.

Teacher’s Guides (published January 2004) for three separate LEGO Educational Division’s products: LEGO Life Science Photosynthesis, Chromosomes, and DNA. The Teacher’s Guides books were sold with the LEGO Teacher Sets.

Guest author for “Field notes”, the AAAS Project 2061 Connections. The article comments on scope and sequence issues relating to the AAAS Science Atlas.

Vandiver, K., Bijur, Jon., Epstein, A., Rosenthal, B., and Stidsen, D. “A Museum Learning Lab—Community partners create a unique interactive lab in a museum setting,” The Science Teacher. NSTA. Vol. 75, No. 4 p. 41, April/May 2008.

Popular Science Interview: “Cellular LEGO Animations”; March 21, 2009.

Presenter at the MIT Ed Tech Fair, October 14, 2009. MIT. “Learning Lab: the Cell: A collaboration between the MIT Center for Environmental Health Science and the MIT Museum

“Museum Workshop in Interactive Cell Biology Positively Impacts Nurses’ Knowledge of Molecular Medicine” (April 2011); Paper to be presented at the April 2011 National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Orlando, FL.


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