Ladies in the Laboratory: Science and Gender in U.S. History,” Fall 2019 (Head Instructor)

Why has science historically been so dominated by men? Why is this still true for many STEM fields today? We will explore the answers to these questions in this course, as well as look at a broader history of women and gender in science in the United States. Because education continues to be crucial in pushing people into or out of scientific careers, this course will also feature a large focus on K-12, college, and graduate science education.

Click here for a copy of the syllabus.

“Freshman Seminar: Johns Hopkins Campus Life, Now and Then,” Spring 2018 (Teaching Assistant)

This course uses a focus on Johns Hopkins University to teach a history of campus life from the late eighteenth century until the present. Themes covered include the development of the research university, sports in colleges, fraternities, coeducation, campus memorials and monuments, and student activism on campus.

For this course I helped design the syllabus and conducted half the classes.

“History of Science: Antiquity to Renaissance,” Fall 2017 (TA)

This course covers the history of science in the Western world from antiquity to the renaissance. Topics covered include Greek and Roman science, science during the Islamic Golden Age, the development of universities, and science during the Middle Ages.

“Freshman Seminar: History of Johns Hopkins Medicine,” Spring 2017 (TA)

Johns Hopkins Medicine consistently ranks as one of the best schools and hospitals in the world, and can claim many impressive “firsts” along with numerous advances in medical research and treatment. This course covers the highlights and low points of the history of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Although the focus will be on this institution, readings and films will also offer a comparison to other medical institutions. As part of the course students pair up to write or significantly revise an entry on Wikipedia relating to a topic of the course.

For this course I helped design the syllabus, supervised the Wikipedia projects, and conducted half the classes.

“Science and Technology in Slave Regimes,” Fall 2016 (TA)

It is often incorrectly assumed that slavery regimes were incompatible with modernity, or especially aspects of modern science and technology. This course explores the questions that arise when we juxtapose slave regimes with scientific and technological change through comparisons of case studies from the United States, Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti. Specific case studies of technologies like the cotton gin, sugar cane processing, and new technologies of communication and transportation will also be explored.

“The Rise of Modern Science,” Spring 2016 (TA)

This course covers the history of science from the mid-eighteenth century up to the present. Students will consider how science and technology have shaped the modern world and conversely how social, political, and economic transformations have left their mark on the sciences. Other themes like the changing infrastructure and funding of science will also be explored in different case studies.

“The Scientific Revolution” Fall 2015 (TA)

This course covers the radical transformation of the study of nature and ideas during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the period known as the Scientific Revolution. It includes a focus on the works of scientific practitioners, as well as how instruments and experiments became increasingly important tools of natural philosophers. Students will also learn how science changes, whether smoothly or disjointedly, and how scientific ideas vary between social and cultural contexts.

Student Activism in U.S. Education from the Early Republic to Today (Untaught Course Syllabus)

In this course students will learn about the history of education on campus in the larger context of the social history of the United States. Students will learn to think critically about their own education and education in general as they situate movements and activism within education into the larger history of the United States. By the end of the course students will have gained a greater thoughtful awareness to their educational environment and feel empowered to effect change in their campus and beyond.

Click here for a copy of the syllabus.

History of Modern Physics (Untaught Course Syllabus)

This course covers the history of physics in the Western world with an emphasis on the history of physics from Newton until today. Themes of this course will include the changes in theories of the physical world as well as the practice of research. Students will also learn about the role of physics in the larger society and how larger societal changes have affected physics research.

Technologies of Education (Untaught Course Syllabus)

This course examines the role of technology in education – from books and blackboards to architecture, computers, the internet, and more. How does technology shape learning? Can technological innovation “fix” education? We will examine historical and contemporary technologies of education and learn to work from the perspectives of technology studies and critical pedagogy.

Click here for a copy of the syllabus.

History of K-12 Education in the U.S. (Untaught Course Syllabus)

This course covers the history of K-12 education in the United States from the colonial time period until today. The history of education will be connected to the larger social history of the US, with special emphasis being given to the history of race and gender within education. Education has always been a site of reform from without as well as within, often encompassing competing philosophies of education.

Teaching Guides in the History of Physics

Since 2013, the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics has produced free online teaching guides that bring topics in the history of the physical sciences to K-12 classrooms. The teaching guides are designed to be very accessible to instructors with no prior experience in history or science. All lessons come with an introduction to the history topic, and many also include a science activity to connect the history lesson back to the science classroom. Each lesson is self contained; it can be dragged and dropped into a class schedule while fulfilling Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.

In 2015 as an intern, and now since 2020 in my capacity as a public historian I have worked to improve and develop more of these teaching guides. There are now over 50 teaching guides online spanning multiple subject areas and time periods, but they share a focus on stories spanning the diverse community of physicists and astronomers. I hope that, as this collection grows, the names and stories it tells will become common knowledge in science classrooms.


My other work in education has included building physics demonstration equipment, tutoring introductory physics, editing history of science web exhibits, and activities with the Committee for the History and Philosophy of Physics in the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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