Alexandria K. Hansen

Alexandria K. Hansen
California State University, Fresno | Fresno State · Department of Biology

PhD

About

40
Publications
25,414
Reads
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346
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
California State University, Fresno
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2016 - June 2018
University of California, Santa Barbara
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Science and Mathematics Teacher Research Initiative (SMTRI)
January 2015 - June 2016
University of California, Santa Barbara
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • I help lead evaluation projects for NSF-funded programs.
Education
September 2015 - June 2018
University of California, Santa Barbara
Field of study
  • STEM Education
September 2013 - September 2015
University of California, Santa Barbara
Field of study
  • STEM Education
August 2011 - June 2012
Loyola Marymount University
Field of study
  • Secondary Science, Urban Education

Publications

Publications (40)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the design process of 5 middle school students diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students were tasked with designing and fabricating a personalized fidget-a small hand-held object to use in a classroom with the goal of increasing focus-by following the process of engineering design described in the...
Article
Full-text available
This study used cultural historical activity theory to make meaning of a digital fabrication project situated in the complexity of a classroom. Using an ethnographic perspective, we observed 14 students (aged 13–14) in a middle school’s creative design and engineering class inspired by the Maker Movement. Working with the classroom teacher, a profe...
Article
We investigated beginning secondary science teachers’ understandings of the science and engineering practice of developing and using models. Our study was situated in a scholarship program that served two groups: undergraduate STEM majors interested in teaching, or potential teachers, and graduate students enrolled in a teacher education program to...
Article
Synopsis Science education is most effective when it provides authentic experiences that reflect professional practices and approaches that address issues relevant to students’ lives and communities. Such educational experiences are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and can be enhanced using digital fabrication. Digital fabrication is the pro...
Article
Given our rapidly changing world and the pressing challenges of climate change and health care, it is more important than ever for youth and the broader public to learn scientific knowledge and skills. To reach the most people possible and increase diversity in STEM fields, we need compelling educational approaches that incorporate the lived experi...
Article
We examined the effects of teacher education on preservice secondary science and mathematics teacher readiness. The construct of teacher readiness consisted of three dimensions: (a) preservice teachers’ understanding of how to implement current standards, (b) their understanding of how to teach multilingual learners (MLs), and (c) their beliefs abo...
Article
Policy documents continually stress the need to develop a scientifically literate and diverse workforce. One commonly recommended way to achieve these goals is through the redesign of introductory level science courses to foster students’ interest in science. Such redesigns take advantage of a myriad of evidence-based strategies such as inquiry and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces the collection of manuscripts from the symposium, “Biology Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning through Authentic Research, Design, and Community Engagement,” presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. The following papers showcase innovative approaches for engaging unde...
Article
Synospis More and more, we see that advances in life sciences are made because of Interdisciplinary collaborations. These collaborations are the future—they are necessary to solve the world’s most pressing problems and grand challenges. But are we preparing the next generation of scientists and the community for this future? At the University level...
Conference Paper
This paper presents the potential effect of a computer programming curriculum on the verbal communication skills of an elementary school student with autism. The student participated in a block-based computer science curriculum for 2 years. We observed his work in three distinct contexts: (1) the general education classroom, working without compute...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this qualitative study, we analyzed interview data to examine how preservice secondary science teachers from three teacher education programs understood four principles of effective science instruction for diverse learners: (1) engaging students in cognitively demanding work, (2) building on students’ funds of knowledge, (3) providing students w...
Presentation
Full-text available
Science education Funds of knowledge
Conference Paper
This study investigated how preservice elementary school teachers designed and facilitated science activities to confine or expand opportunities for student inquiry. As part of their enrollment in a Science Methods course within a Teacher Education Program, preservice teachers were tasked with designing activities aligned to the Next Generation Sci...
Article
Full-text available
This article integrates an ecological approach and design-based research in computer science education research by following the simultaneous development of a computer programming environment and curriculum for elementary school age children over 2-1/2 years. We studied the alignment of the affordances provided by the programming environment and cu...
Article
Full-text available
With the goal of supporting an inclusive maker education learning experience, a science museum, university, and middle school partnered to engage students diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in an authentic design challenge: fabricate a personalized fidget. LINK: http://csl.nsta.org/2018/08/fabricating-fidgets/
Conference Paper
Visual block-based programming environments (VBBPEs) such as Scratch and Alice are increasingly being used in introductory computer science lessons across elementary school grades. These environments, and the curricula that accompany them, are designed to be developmentally-appropriate and engaging for younger learners but may introduce challenges...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite the potential of the maker movement to influence how we teach students in school, thus far, most research on maker activities have taken place in informal spaces, such as museums and after-school programs, which are inaccessible to some populations. To ensure maker education reaches all students, it must find its place at school. However, c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports on the communication patterns of two students in two settings: the elementary school classroom and the computer lab. One child was diagnosed with autism and the other was neurotypical. These students participated in a computer science curriculum designed for upper elementary school children (grades 4-5; ages 9-10), featuring bloc...
Article
Full-text available
We set out to help students develop literacy and engineering skills while fostering an identity as individuals who are capable of changing society. Our focus on literacy within this project is a direct response to the abilities and needs of our participating students, whose first language is Spanish and who vary in their reading ability (third- to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As more elementary schools commit to integrating computer science instruction into their curricula, they seek guidance on what concepts are appropriate for students at different grade levels. Currently, little is known about how best to sequence computer science learning across elementary grades. In this paper, we present an analysis of 123 student...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We developed the Draw-A-Computer-Scientist-Test (DACST) to better understand elementary school students' conceptions of computer scientists and the nature of their work. By understanding how young children perceive computer scientists, we can broaden their ideas about the activities and images of computer scientists. We administered the DACST to 87...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe an event where 33 pre-service elementary school teachers planned and facilitated a School Maker Faire as part of their elementary science teaching methods course. We focus on one group of four pre-service teachers who facilitated a balloon rocket station and examine the decisions they made when facilitating children's int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Eighth grade students in an engineering course designed and tested prosthetic bones for use in a movie. Bone design required physics content to be integrated with knowledge of math, engineering, and technology. Specifically, students used a 3D printer and associated design software to design, fabricate, and test a prosthetic fibula for a stuntman's...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present an analysis of 123 students' (aged 9-12) digital stories created in a visual block-based programming language across three grade levels (grades 4-6). These students were all involved in the same introductory computer science curriculum. Participating students attended the same school and received computer science instructi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As computer science moves from an outreach activity to a normal classroom activity in the multi-subject, mainstream elementary school classroom, curricula need to be examined to ensure they are meeting the needs of diverse students. In this paper, we present how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was used to develop and refine a programming enviro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the growing movement to use visual block-based languages (VBBLs) in elementary and middle school classrooms, questions arise about the learning outcomes of such activities. While some schools are content to use VBBLs to spark interest and motivation for the future pursuit of computing, others are asking, Does this early exposure produce knowle...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We describe an activity in which a group of 61 high school seniors designed and fabricated physics demonstrations that were part of a large installation exhibited at Maker Faire in San Mateo. The teachers designed the learning experience to simultaneously support students completing projects they were individually responsible for while participatin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Visual block-based programming environments allow elementary school students to create their own programs in ways that are more accessible than in textual programming environments. These environments help students write code by removing syntax errors and reducing typing. Students create code by dragging, dropping, and snapping constructs together (...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present our analysis of 92 fourth graders' digital story projects completed in LaPlaya, a Scratch-like programming environment. Projects were analyzed for the way that students programmed the start of the story, and if the program integrated user-centered design by providing instruction to the user on how to interact with the digi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The recent growth of interest in computer science has created a movement to more readily introduce computer science in K-12 classrooms. However, little research exists on how to successfully bring computer science to lower grade levels. In this paper, we present advice for researchers and curriculum developers who are getting started working with c...
Chapter
Full-text available
Computing has impacted almost all aspects of life, making it increasingly important for the next generation to understand how to develop and use software. Yet, a lack of research on how children learn computer science and an already impacted elementary school schedule has meant that very few children have the opportunity to learn computer science p...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The purpose of the SMTRI project is to better understand how to prepare secondary science and mathematics teachers to implement standards-based teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. The major goals of the SMTRI project are to examine: (1) the impact of undergraduate teacher preparation, through the University of California’s CalTeach program, on undergraduate STEM majors’ knowledge and dispositions about secondary science and mathematics teaching and their decision to pursue teaching as a career (2) novice secondary science and mathematics teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practice during their preservice teacher credential programs and first years of teaching, and the similarities and differences in knowledge, beliefs, and practice between novice teachers who participated in CalTeach and those who did not (3) how the type of teacher credential program shapes the development of novice teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practice
Archived project