Samuel Severance
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Education Department
  • Affiliations Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
    (831) 459-3850
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • McHenry Library, Room 3146
  • Office Hours By Appointment
  • Mail Stop Education Department
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Courses EDUC 221: Science Learning and Teaching in Elementary Classrooms, EDUC 230: Science Education: Research & Practice, EDUC 185C: Introduction to Teaching Science

Summary of Expertise

Science Education, Design-Based Research, Collaborative Design, Project-Based Learning, Sociocultural Theory, Cognitive Science

Research Interests

I develop education innovations and study how they may support all students and teachers in having more meaningful and empowering science learning experiences. When organizing design work for science materials, I explore how to optimally arrange diverse forms of expertise within research-practice partnerships to achieve more inclusive design spaces. I also examine how to support the implementation of science innovations, particularly how to sustain innovations over time and bring them to scale across large education systems.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D. Learning Sciences & Human Development with Cognitive Science (Combined)

University of Colorado Boulder (2016)


M.A.+ Curriculum & Instruction + Secondary Science Licensure

University of Colorado Boulder (2007)


B.A. Neuroscience & Behavior

University of California, Santa Cruz (2002)

Honors, Awards and Grants


“SEMILLA Teach Project”

PI: Pablo Reguerín; Co-PI: Nandini Bhattacharya, Judit Moschkovich, Samuel Severance

Senior Personnel: Gretchen Andreasen, Charis Herzon

Funder: US Dept of Ed Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) - STEM Articulation Programs

$149,798 (2019-2021)


“Equipping Middle School Teachers with Resources to Monitor the Progress of their Students’ Science Learning”

PI: James Pellegrino; Co-PIs: Joseph Krajcik, Christopher Harris, Daniel Damelin

PI: Samuel Severance (subaward)

Funder: Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative 

$23,928 (2019-2020)


“Designing for Community-Engaged Transformative Learning through Informal STEM”

PI: Linnea Beckett; Co-PIs: Samuel Severance, Saskias Casanova

Funder: UC Santa Cruz, Office of Research (OR): Seed Funding Initiatives

$15,000 (2020)



Miramontes Scholar Fellowship (2012-2016)

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education (2013)

ETS Recognition of Excellence (PRAXIS General Science) (2007)

Hach Scientific Foundation Chemistry Teacher Scholarship (2007)