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STEAM Certificate: Exploring Social and Cultural Elements in STEAM Educationpaces

This course investigates the fundamental roles in the psychology of learning, including identity, motivation, interest, prior knowledge and experience, choice and control play in supporting lifelong learning. It will also connect learning theories, particularly informal learning and related, fundamental concepts of sociology, social psychology and anthropology. You will explore how social stratification, social structure and interaction, social institutions, and cultural background influence the science of learning.

Study how learning leaders may consider these dimensions to successfully build and engage lifelong learners through experiences in community education spaces, museums, zoos, aquariums and home school settings.

This course will be richly illustrated by real world examples of learning in public/informal settings and be designed to support future learning leaders' efforts to engage diverse audiences and facilitate lifelong learning in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Time Commitment: Plan for 5 hours of work per week.



STEM Certificate: Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM

This online course is part of the STEM Certificate: Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM. This program was originally developed by free-choice learning experts John Falk and Lynn Dierking and based on the innovative Oregon State University graduate program in education.

STEM Certificate Courses

College Partners

This course is a collaboration between Oregon State University College of Education and Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education.

Jan. 10 - Feb. 20, 2022
Six weeks
price (2)
$529 (registration cost includes a $60 non-refundable registration fee, per course)


Sarah Sheldrick

Sarah Sheldrick is dedicated to inspiring creative people to develop and reach their goals. She has a strong vision of community that is considerate of equity, respect, collaboration, empathy, inclusion, celebration of achievements, and continuing development of individual’s abilities. Her area of academic and practical work is in environmental science, conflict management, documentary filmmaking and theater.  In her work, she has met with a diverse group of stakeholders including, native tribes, city manager, farmers, ranchers, city council and state representatives.

Sarah has spent her professional career focused ethical and effective skills for oral and written communication. She also has extensive and an expert knowledge of public relations, event planning and public speaking. She also brings knowledge of conflict resolution, stakeholder engagement and a creative approach to collaborative problem solving. Her current research project is looking at Nestle Waters North America and the communication process that is inclusive of local communities, awareness of environmental risk and drinking water scarcity. 

Talal Alajmi

My name is Talal. I am currently in my final year in the Science and Math PhD program at Oregon state. Prior to OSU I completed two graduate degrees: one from the University of Edinburgh in Science (Biochemistry) Communication and Public Engagement and the most recent one from the University of Oregon in Educational Leadership. My focus is exploring science education through authenticity and context and how to utilize this framework to enhance and improve students’ knowledge and interest in science. Since enrolling at OSU in 2018, I have been working with an array of students from different backgrounds, and as an educator I believe each learner is unique and deserves an engaging and collaborative environment to grow intellectually and socially. 


Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.