Carolyn D. Sealfon

Physicist & Associate Director, Science Education

Council on Science and Technology

Frist Campus Center, Room 329 / Jadwin Hall 419

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ 08544

(609) 258-6448

Fax: (609) 258-1433

csealfon @ princeton . edu


v Science and Engineering Education Initiative

v Teaching Resources

v Vita







webpage under construction





Princeton Science and Engineering Education Initiative:


This university-wide initiative aims to prepare all Princeton students, irrespective of their majors, to become scientifically and technologically literate citizens and decision-makers. Launched by the faculty on the Council on Science and Technology (CST), currently chaired by Naomi Leonard, the initiative revises the Science and Technology (ST) distribution requirements, introduces new courses emphasizing the role of science in society, and focuses on assessing and raising the learning outcomes across ST courses through applying the science of learning to the learning of science. Catherine Riihimaki (an environmental scientist) and I (an astrophysicist) were brought on board as Princeton's first two Associate Directors of Science Education to play leadership roles in shaping and implementing the initiative. We're excited to welcome Jaclyn Schwalm (a molecular biologist) and Aatish Bhatia (a computational biophysicist) who have recently joined our multi-disciplinary creative team to help realize the CST's long-term vision.


A few initial accomplishments:


v  Articulate target learning standards for all ST courses

v  Provide additional resources for faculty teaching ST courses

v  Administer pre and post surveys on attitudes towards science and basic numeracy skills to students enrolled in ST courses

v  In collaboration with the McGraw Center, organize and inspire faculty discussions about teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning

v  Focus on signature courses for humanities and social science majors

o   Define and articulate course, lecture, and lab learning goals

o   Develop and implement research-based instructional materials/approaches to enhance learning outcomes


Each member of our team co-teaches, collaborates, or consults with two to four courses per semester. For example, in Spring 2013, I worked with WWS 353: Science and Global Security and consulted with NEU 101: Neuroscience and Everyday Life, CEE 262B: Structures and the Urban Environment, and FRS 112: Light, Camera, Action. In Fall 2013, I am working with PHY 115: Physics for Future Leaders and observing/consulting with PHY 101 and 103.






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Teaching Resources:


At Princeton:






Online Repositories of Teaching Materials:






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My passion for science education began in grade school. I pursued physics in college and theoretical cosmology for my PhD. Before coming to Princeton in mid-2011, I served as Assistant Professor of Physics at West Chester University.




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Revised: 9/11/13