Joe Michaelis is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology – Learning Sciences at the University of Wisconsin. After six years as a science educator and FIRST robotics coach in urban middle and high schools, he has returned to Madison to pursue research interests in STEM education. His graduate adviser is Professor Mitchell Nathan whose research includes teacher knowledge and beliefs, gesture studies, and discourse analysis in STEM and math education.
Joe’s research involves studying interest development and its impact on learning in STEM education, focusing on the role of learning environments, feedback, cognitive development and influence of social constructs and identities. This work examines designing scaffolded instruction from teachers, other students, and educational technologies to best meet the needs of students at different phases of interest development. This work is conducted in classrooms, homes, out-of-school STEM education settings, and in lab based intelligent tutoring systems using data collected via observation, interview, survey and eye-tracking.


BS: Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
MS: Science Education Leadership, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
MS: Educational Psychology – Learning Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI