October 8, 2021
Thompson draws upon her background in science education and outreach as a research scientist and lecturer for the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in teacher preparation using simulations, STEM educational games, and using virtual and simulated environments for learning STEM topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell, a masters in science and engineering education from Tufts, and a doctorate in science education from Boston University. She is an instructor in the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP). Her research interest is in using technology to help expand how and what we learn. She works in creating and implementing simulations to help preservice and inservice teachers learn key skills in teaching. Thompson uses those games and simulations when she teaches the STEP course: “Understanding and Evaluating Education.” She has also done work collaborative learning environments in Virtual Reality, using multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) in learning ecology, and in how AI powered apps that can enrich parent and child learning strategies. She is the coauthor of Envisioning Virtual Reality: A toolkit for implementing VR in Education.