Our Supporters: Carol O’Donnell
Director of Smithsonian Science Education Center
Carol is the Director of Smithsonian Science Education Center
About Carol O’Donnell
Carol O’Donnell is the director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which is dedicated to transforming the learning and teaching of science in classrooms throughout the USA and the world.
Carol earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh before beginning her science teaching career in Virginia public schools.
Before completing her doctorate, Carol spent eleven years developing science-curriculum materials for the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s science and technology concepts elementary and secondary programs.
While earning her doctorate, Carol managed a five-year, National Science Foundation-funded trial aimed at identifying the conditions under which effective middle school science curricular interventions improve student learning and reduce achievement gaps when scaled-up. Her research on curriculum implementation was published in the Review of Educational Research and earned her an “American Educational Research Association Division of Learning and Instruction Graduate Research Award” in 2008.
Carol completed her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at George Washington University.
Carol has expertise in education policy, professional development, cognition and student learning, education research, and curriculum development. She has spoken extensively about Women in STEM, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), diversifying the STEM teaching workforce, educating youth across the globe on the complex socio-scientific issues that underlie the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
You can still find Carol in the classroom, she currently serves on the part-time faculty of George Washington University’s physics department.