Nitasha Mathayas

Post Doctoral Researcher

About


Hi and welcome to my website. My name is Nitasha and I recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. I am a learning scientist and curriculum designer specializing in science education. 

As a learning scientist, I explore how students learn science through their bodies while using advanced digital technologies such as gesture-detecting devices to support their thinking. My dissertation research was focused on how middle school students made sense of heat transfer using a gesture-augmented computer simulation supporting where I show how gesturing with a computer simulation supported students to build sophisticated explanations of heat transfer. 

As a curriculum specialist, I work on various curriculum development projects related to science. I am currently exploring how to incorporate sustainability into science curriculum. I have previously worked on blending science and environmental science through a culturally-relevant pedagogy lens, and I developed teaching videos for supporting inquiry science teaching in India.  

Publications


Representational gesturing as an epistemic tool for the development of mechanistic explanatory models


Nitasha Mathayas, David E Brown, Robert C. Wallon, Robb W Lindgren


Science Education, vol. 103(4), 2019 May 30, pp. 1047-1079


Exploring multimodal scaffolds supporting middle school students’ construction of causal-mechanistic scientific explanations


Nitasha Mathayas, David E Brown


icls, International Conference of Learning Sciences, 2017 Nov 31, pp. 56-63


Exploring the relationship between gesture and student reasoning regarding linear and exponential growth


Sahar Alameh, Jason Morphew, Nitasha Mathayas, Robb Lindgren


icls, International Conference of Learning Sciences, 2016 May 30, pp. 1006-1009


Exploring middle school students' sense making of a computer simulation about thermal conduction


Nitasha Mathayas, David E. Brown, Robb Lindgren


icls, International Conference of Learning Sciences, 2015 Nov 31, pp. 1267-1268


"Show me" what you mean: Learning and design implications of eliciting gesture in student explanations


Robb W Lindgren, Robert C. Wallon, David E Brown, Nitasha Mathayas, Nathan Kimball


icls, International Conference of Learning Sciences, 2015 Nov 31, pp. 1014-1017


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Projects


Generalized Embodied Modeling to support Science through Technology Enhanced Play (GEM-STEP) - current


The project will develop and research a new Mixed Reality environment (MR) that leverages play and embodiment as resources for integrating computational modeling into the modeling cycle as part of science instruction for elementary students.


Gesture Augmented Simulations for Supporting Explanations


GRASP (GestuRe Augmented Simulations for supporting exPlanations) is an NSF-funded collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Concord Consortium. The goal of this project is to understand the role that gestures play in rea...


Embodied Learning Augmented through Simulation Theaters for Interacting with Cross-Cutting Concepts in Science


ELASTIC3S (Embodied Learning Augmented through Simulation Theaters for Interacting with Cross-Cutting Concepts in  Science) is an NSF Cyberlearning research project conducted by an interdisciplinary team of learning scientists and computer scientists a...


Learning to Teach for Epistemic Agency


The objective of this project is to examine teacher learning around supporting students’ epistemic agency: having students take ownership over the intellectual work of doing science and making decisions about how that work should proceed. This project ...


A Sustainable World


The goal for this project is to pilot the development of a linked series of courses within the established elementary teacher certification program at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that is focused on unders...


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Courses


Elementary Science Methods


Fall 2014, Fall 2019


This course prepares pre-service teachers in elementary education for teaching science


Methods of Educational Inquiry


Fall 2019


This in an introductory methods course introducing graduate students to research methods of the social sciences and humanities


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Contact



Nitasha Mathayas


Post Doctoral Researcher


nmathaya​@iu​.edu

Center for Research on Learning and Technology


Indiana University