AERA Members Honored with High-Profile NSF and NSB Awards
AERA Members Honored with High-Profile NSF and NSB Awards

May 2023

On May 9, two AERA members accepted prestigious awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Science Board (NSB).

Natalie King

Natalie King, associate professor of science education at Georgia State University, was one of three recipients of the 2023 Alan T. Waterman Award. This award honors early-career science and engineering researchers in recognition of exceptional individual achievements in NSF-supported fields.

King’s research has focused on engaging Black girls in STEM through community engagement. This work has included founding and serving as executive director of I AM STEM, where King organizes summer camps with the goal of improving students’ interests, identity, and engagement in STEM within populations that are underrepresented in STEM. She has received NSF funding through several projects, including the NSF CAREER Award Black Girl Brilliance and STEM Identity Development; a Noyce Track 2 grant with the aim of increasing Black male STEM teachers in the Atlanta metro area through a research-practice partnership; and University of Florida Unites Teachers to Reform Education in Science v.2, for which she served as a co-principal investigator.

Margaret Honey

The New York Hall of Science received one of the two 2023 NSB Science and Society awards. President and CEO Margaret Honey, an AERA member, accepted the award on the organization’s behalf.

The New York Hall of Science provides opportunities for STEM engagement through youth development programs, community-focused programming, and partnerships with New York City Public Schools. Honey has served as PI for several NSF grants that have sought to build engagement in STEM as part of partnerships, including SciGames, the World Maker Faire Workshop, and an NSF INCLUDES grant to establish a national Networked Improvement Community (NIC) of maker spaces and fab labs serving Black and Latino high school aged youth and specializing in computational making programs.

King and Honey were among the awardees who engaged in conversation with members of NSB during its meeting on May 9.

King described her trajectory from pre-med student to high school science teacher, building from that experience to inform her work to create inviting spaces for engaging middle and high school students in STEM and to increase teacher diversity. She noted the importance of building relationships and trust in the community, and her hope with this award to expand the capacity to do community-engaged scholarship.

Honey discussed how her journey from graduate school and a position with the Bank Street College of Education stirred her interest in developing interactive media products that encourage interest in STEM. She also described the freedom to be innovative that she has with the New York Hall of Science and in collaboration with her team.