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STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Gina Navoa Svarovsky

Associate Professor, Engineering Education


Dr. Svarovsky is an Associate Professor of the Practice at the University of Notre Dame Center for STEM Education. For over a decade, she has been interested in how young people learn science and engineering in both formal and informal learning environments. Specifically, her research interests are focused on exploring how youth from traditionally underrepresented populations in engineering are able to develop engineering skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking as a result of participating in a variety of learning experiences. Dr. Svarovsky also holds a joint appointment in the College of Engineering at Notre Dame and teaches in the First-year engineering program.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Center for STEM Education, Dr. Svarovsky worked as a Senior Evaluation and Research associate at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She also taught physics at St. Petersburg Catholic High School for two years as part of the ACE Teaching Fellows program.


  • 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

  • K-12 Engineering Education
  • STEM Integration
  • Informal STEM learning, particularly in museums and programs

Recent 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
  • Introduction to Engineering Systems
  • Introduction to Teaching – Historical Perspectives
  • Clinical Seminar in Teaching
  • Supervised Teaching

Current Projects

  • Head Start on Engineering 2.0.
  • June 2017 – May 2020. Analytical applications of surface-enhanced hyper-raman scattering.
  • Making Connections: Exploring culturally relevant maker experiences through an iterative, cross-institutional approach.



  • 107 Carole Sandner Hall
  • Notre Dame, IN 46556


  • Phone: 574-631-3829
  • E-Mail:
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