The Robert F. Tinker Fellows program aims to promote innovation, creativity, and cross-disciplinary conversations in educational technology for STEM teaching and learning. Originally organized as a residency program, the fellowship was designed to bring individuals to the Concord Consortium to spark new ideas, tinker with novel technologies, cultivate outside perspectives, and provide opportunities for reflection on our work.
Many visitors, including international researchers, visited Bob at the Concord Consortium to share ideas, work elbow to elbow on new grants, and turn early design concepts into prototypes. It is in this spirit that the Fellows Program was created.
The Concord Consortium typically hosts one fellow per year. We expect that the 2024 fellowship will be in person, though specific arrangements for an in-person or virtual “residency” will be coordinated with the fellow.
If possible, the fellow should plan to be in residence at the Concord Consortium’s Concord, Massachusetts, and/or Emeryville, California, offices for an extended visit of two consecutive weeks or up to 12 days in successive visits of several days. If the fellowship is virtual, the fellow must plan to meet with our staff via video conference meetings for a comparable time period. The timing is flexible and based on mutual agreement between the fellow and the Concord Consortium.
Fellows contribute and participate in the following ways:
- Engage in work that either extends or enriches a current Concord Consortium project or develops the possibility of future collaborative work related to our mission.
- Produce something to leave behind at the Concord Consortium (paper, proposal, lesson idea, tabletop exhibit, model, or other artifact).
- Spend meaningful amounts of time interacting with Concord Consortium staff.
- Write a reflection on their residency and provide feedback on their experiences with the Concord Consortium’s approaches, platforms, research, materials, OERs, designs, and/or processes.
- Host a presentation about their work, insights, and discoveries during their residency.
Robert F. (Bob) Tinker founded the Concord Consortium in 1994 and served as its dynamic and passionate president until 2009. He saw in technology the power to revolutionize how people learn and teach. And he continually pushed the limits of educational technology and pedagogies, pursuing ever more innovative ideas with new collaborators and partners. Bob’s earliest and enduring passion was a belief that education could open opportunities for all students. Bob passed away on June 21, 2017. With this fellowship, we remember his legacy and his unique personal qualities.
This year’s theme focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM education. Proposals should address educational technology-related approaches in one or more of the following topics, or similar areas of research and scholarship:
- Designing culturally relevant pedagogy
- Leveraging learners’ funds of knowledge
- Increasing learner agency, engagement, and/or STEM identity
- Designing place- or project-based learning in STEM or interdisciplinary topics
- Connecting STEM or data science learning with social justice
- Using technology to promote equitable and just STEM learning
The Tinker Fellows Program includes a total honorarium of $5,000.
Fellows will be selected by an application and review process. To apply please send the following materials to TinkerFellows@concord.org:
- CV or resume
- Two letters of references (include them with your application or ask them to be sent separately by the deadline)
- A proposal of what you plan to do during your fellowship (no more than 2,000 words)
- A list of the people and/or projects at the Concord Consortium with whom/which you intend to collaborate
Application deadline: December 15, 2023
Fellows will be notified by January 15, 2024
The committee to review applications includes members of the Board of Directors and staff.
Past Tinker Fellows
2023 Tinker Fellow Colby Tofel-Grehl
2023 Tinker Fellow Cristián Rizzi Iribarren
2022 Tinker Fellow Heather Barker
2022 Tinker Fellow Terrance Burgess
2021 Tinker Fellow Stephen Callahan
2020 Tinker Fellow Nicholas Horton
2019 Tinker Fellow Amy Hammett
Colby Tofel-Grehl was a 2023 Tinker Fellow. Currently an associate professor of STEM and Science Education at Utah State University, Tofel-Grehl was a classroom teacher for elementary through high school students for over a decade before pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Virginia’s School of Education. As Principal Investigator of three National Science Foundation-funded grants and a GEAR-UP grant from the Department of Education, she focuses on the use of technology for both creating equitable STEM pipeline access and reimagining and reallocating the power structures that dictate whose histories and stories are told in classrooms.
Cristián Rizzi Iribarren
Cristián Rizzi Iribarren was a 2023 Tinker Fellow. Rizzi Iribarren is an Educational Technology Specialist at the Ministry of Education of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Visiting Professor in the School of Education at the University of San Andrés and at the Universidad de la Ciudad of Buenos Aires City. His work focuses on teacher professional development and helping teachers integrate technology into their subjects.
Heather Barker was a 2022 Tinker Fellow. Barker received a Ph.D. in Learning and Teaching in STEM Education from North Carolina State University in 2021 and is a lecturer in mathematics and statistics at Elon University. Inspired by her doctoral advisor Dr. Hollylynne Lee, she focuses her research on statistics education at the K-12 level. Using CODAP as her primary data investigation tool, she helps students ask questions about equity and social justice issues as reflected in datasets. With the aid of Elon’s Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education, Barker and a colleague developed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives Inventory for Introductory College Statistics Courses.
Terrance Burgess was a 2022 Tinker Fellow. He earned a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum with a focus on Science Education from Syracuse University in 2020. His dissertation investigated the impact of classroom instruction on the academic, racial, and science identity formation of students of color in an urban elementary school. A former high school teacher of biology, Earth science, and environmental science, Burgess is now an assistant professor of science education at Michigan State University where he instructs pre-service elementary teachers as well as graduate students.
We are delighted to announce Stephen Callahan as our 2021 Tinker Fellow. Callahan serves as the educational technology coordinator at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) FabLab. On any day of the week, that role might mean supervising staff, designing lessons, offering teacher professional development workshops, producing YouTube videos for CodeStack, or coordinating school field trips and events, including for children of local migrant farm workers, students from a rural one-school district or an inner-city school, or a robotics club. Before joining the SJCOE, Callahan was a high school teacher for 12 years, teaching chemistry, physics, and engineering, and constantly dreaming up ways to make learning fun with technology.
We are delighted to announce Nicholas Horton as our 2020 Tinker Fellow. The Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society (Statistics and Data Science) at Amherst College, Nick is an applied biostatistician with research interests in statistics and data science education. He uses computation to allow students to explore, model, and communicate insights from data. Nick is Co-PI of the NSF-funded Project MOSAIC, Co-PI of the NSF-funded Data Science WAV (Data Science for Social Good), and co-author of the CRC Press book “Modern Data Science with R.” He also works with the National Academies to identify structures to support undergraduate data science education. He plans to use his time in residence as a Tinker Fellow at both our Concord, Massachusetts, and Emeryville, California, offices to collaborate with our CodeR4MATH and CODAP projects and use these platforms to advance the field of data science exploration.
We are delighted to announce Amy Hammett as our first Tinker Fellow recipient. Amy is currently completing a master’s degree in Gifted Education at Fort Hays State University. As a Kansas Master Science Teacher-in-Training and an NGSS curriculum developer, she writes classroom-level exemplar performance assessments for the State of Kansas. She has taught biology, Earth and space science, astronomy, forensic science, zoology, and science research classes at the high school level.
Amy is also active in the research and learning science communities, and is currently organizing a spring 2019 NSF Principal Investigator conference on learning with and about big data. The conference, organized together with Dr. Paul Adams, the NSTA Board Director of Pre-service Teacher Education, will map what has already been achieved in big data learning at the district and school level and set a clear direction for continuous progress. Building on this same line of work, Amy plans to use her time in residence at the Concord Consortium as a Tinker Fellow to develop curricular units for both teachers and students focused on developing data science skills.