Subscribe to our Newsletter   |       |    Contact Us

STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Gina Navoa Svarovsky

Associate Professor, Center for STEM Education


Dr. Gina Navoa Svarovsky has nearly two decades conducting research and evaluation on several NSF-funded projects and outreach efforts focused on STEM education. She has led multiple large-scale evaluations of public impact and learning around STEM learning as part of the National Informal STEM Education Network, conducts research on integrated STEM teaching and learning in formal classrooms and out-of-school learning contexts, and also leads strategic planning and logic model development sessions with program leaders. Dr. Svarovsky earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin
  • M.S. in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin
  • M.Ed., University of Notre Dame
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Research Interests

  • Equity-centered preK-12 Engineering Education
  • STEM Integration
  • Informal STEM Learning (particularly in museums and programs)

Selected Publications

  • Pattison, S., Svarovsky, G., Ramos-Montanez, S., Gotan, I., Weiss, S., Benne, M., Nuñez, V., Corrie, P., & Smith, C. (Submitted). Understanding Early Childhood Engineering Interest Development as a Family-Level Systems Phenomenon: Findings from the Head Start in Engineering Project. Learning, Culture, and Social Interaction.
  • Svarovsky, G. N. (in press). Early STEM experiences in museums. In L. Cohen and S. Waite-Stupaiansky (Eds.), STEM for early childhood learners: How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strengthen learning. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Svarovsky, G. N., Wagner, C., & Cardella, M. E. (2018). Exploring moments of agency for girls during an Engineering Activity. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 6(3), 302-319.
  • Pattison, S., Svarovsky, G., Gotan, I., Corrie, P., Benne, M., Weiss, S., Nuñez, V., & Ramos-Montanez, S. (2017). Head Start on Engineering: Teachers, informal STEM educators, and learning researchers collaborating to engage low income families with engineering. Connected Science Learning, 4(1).
  • Svarovsky, G. N. (2014). Engineering learning in museums and other designed settings: Towards a theoretical framework. In Strobel, J., Purzer, S. & Cardella, M. (Eds.) Engineering in Pre-College Settings: Research into Practice. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • Cardella, M., Svarovsky, G.N., Dorie, B. (2013). Gender research on adult-child interactions in informal engineering environments (GRADIENT): Early findings. Proceedings of the 120th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 2013, Atlanta, GA.
  • Svarovsky, G. N. (2011). Exploring complex engineering learning over time with Epistemic Network Analysis. Journal of Pre-college Engineering Education Research, 1(2), 19-30.
  • Svarovsky, G. N. (2010). Exploring and Assessing Engineering Epistemic Frames in Authentic Engineering Learning Environments for Girls. Paper presented at the International Conference of Learning Sciences Engineering Workshop, June 2010, Chicago, IL.
  • Shaffer, D.W., Hatfield, D., Svarovsky, G.N., Nash, P., Nulty, A., Bagley, E., Franke, K., Rupp, A.A., Mislevy, R. (2009). Epistemic Network Analysis: A prototype for 21st Century assessment of learning. The International Journal of Learning and Media.
  • Svarovsky, G. N., & Shaffer, D. W. (2007). SodaConstructing knowledge through exploratoids. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(1), 133-153.

Courses Taught

  • Learning in Informal Environments (ESS 20208)
  • Introduction to Engineering Systems
  • Introduction to Teaching – Historical Perspectives
  • Clinical Seminar in Teaching
  • Supervised Teaching

Current Projects

  • Head Start on Engineering (2019-2023)
  • REACH-ECE: Research Exploring Activity Characteristics and Heuristics for Early Childhood Education (2019-2023)
  • RET Site: Biologically and Physically Inspired Computing Models and Systems (2019-2023)


The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education is housed within the Institute for Educational Initiatives. View additional information about Gina Navoa Svarovsky on her IEI webpage.


  • 107 Carole Sandner Hall
  • Notre Dame, IN 46556


  • Phone: 574-631-3829
  • E-Mail:
Join the Notre Dame STEM Teaching Fellows