Tracy McMahon

Email Tracy McMahon

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 


Tracy McMahon

First name: 


Last name: 



Tracy McMahon brings extensive expertise in designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation studies. She specializes in survey design and implementation; qualitative data collection techniques such as interviews, focus groups, and observations; the development of logic models and literature reviews; and statistical analysis. Much of her work focuses on the implementation of program evaluations that seek to identify the effectiveness of formal and informal science education programs at K-12 and institute of higher education (IHE) levels. (Read her blog post "Resources to Help Parents Support Kids' STEM Interests and Explorations.")
Recently, McMahon co-authored the report Engineering for Every K-12 Student based on her team's work on the Massachusetts Engineering Innovation and Dissemination Community (MEIDC), an NSF-funded landscape study of K-12 engineering education in Mass. For the past four years, she has supported the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing Alliances (BPC-A) Evaluation as liaison to alliances and collected, analyzed, and reported data on efforts to broaden participation in computer science.
She holds an MEd in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation; an MA in Higher Education Administration; and a BA in Communication and Sociology from Boston College.


Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate


Pathways to College and Careers

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



New EDC Website Deepens Understanding of Infectious Diseases

Picture of ebola virus from new EDC Exploring Infectious Diseases website

Every 12 to 18 months, an outbreak of infectious disease erupts somewhere in the world. EDC’s new, free interactive Web resource, Exploring Infectious Diseases, tackles this challenge head-on by providing engaging, scientifically accurate materials to raise awareness of infectious diseases and guide informed decision-making during outbreaks and epidemics.

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Early STEM Learning and the Roles of Technologies

Tue, 05/31/2016


In this EDC white paper, the authors discuss how the thoughtful use of technology by early childhood teachers and families can enhance the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning of children from birth to age eight and help set the stage for successful lifelong STEM learning. The authors summarize key findings from their work and present evidence-based recommendations that can help ensure technology reaches its potential to improve the quality and equity of early STEM education for all young children. Highlights include:

Thoughtful use of technology to support early STEM learning



12 pp.

Publication Type: 

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Outstanding STEM Learning For All


Sarita Pillai leads initiatives to improve the quality and equity of STEM education, including managing national research and technical assistance centers, building and sustaining communities of practice to promote professional learning, and engaging youth in developing STEM-focused, technology-based resources. Sarita is the PI of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center at EDC and co-PI of the NSF-funded Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL). In 2015, Sarita, STELAR co-PI Caroline Parker, Catherine McCulloch (co-PI of Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education—CADRE at EDC), and colleagues from SRI Education worked with the NSF and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate a daylong invitational forum on "next generation" STEM education. In this post, Sarita shares a few key points from EDC’s May 2016 report on the Forum, Next Generation STEM for All: Envisioning Advances Based on NSF Supported Research.

Featured Blog: 


Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments

Thu, 09/01/2016


As described, EDC's Leslie Goodyear and Sophia Mansori are supporting the work of the Committee that wrote this report

As acknowledged in the introduction to this National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, EDC contributed to the report by conducting a landscape study that provided the report Committee with key background on challenges and opportunities. The report summarizes evidence from communications, informal learning, and chemistry education on effective practices to communicate with and engage the public outside of the classroom, presents a framework for the design of chemistry communication activities, and identifies key areas for future research.

Book cover


126 pp.

Publication Type: 

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

2016 DRK–12 Event Focuses on Impacts, Bridging Research and Practice, and Digital Media

CADRE at EDC supports and shares innovative DRK-12 STEM education R&D

On June 1–3, EDC convened 230 National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research K–12 (DRK–12) awardees and 20 NSF program officers to share strategies, impacts, and challenges in their innovative work to improve STEM education. Held in Washington, DC, the invitational meeting had a special focus on exploring the role of digital media in fostering deep STEM and cross-disciplinary learning and also engaged participants in examining how STEM education R&D can best address the needs of practitioners.

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

NSF DRK-12 PI Meeting


June 1-3: Washington, DC

On June 1 to 3, EDC will facilitate and host a national meeting of 300 National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research K-12 program  awardees, as part of our work leading the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE)

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

3 Major Ways to Boost Basic Data Literacy in K-16

This article spotlights the report "Building Global Interest in Data Literacy: A Dialogue" authored and published by EDC's Oceans of Data Institute: "Focusing on three specific areas could be key to boosting K-16 students’ data literacy in a world where big data’s importance grows daily, according to a new report. EDC’s Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) convened an expert panel of data analysts and educators for a workshop on data literacy, and panelists focused on what it means to be data literate in today’s world of big data, as well as what to teach students to prepare them to be part of today’s workforce and society. The panelists’ recommendations are included in a new report, Building Global Interest in Data Literacy: A Dialogue. During their discussion, panelists developed and endorsed a data definition: The data-literate individual understands, explains, and documents the utility and limitations of data by becoming a critical consumer of data, controlling his/her personal data trail, finding meaning in data, and taking action based on data. The data-literate individual can identify, collect, evaluate, analyze, interpret, present, and protect data."


eSchool News

Publication Date: 

Fri, 05/20/2016

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Next Generation STEM Learning For All: Envisioning Advances Based on NSF Supported Research

Thu, 05/19/2016


Caroline Parker, Sarita Pillai, Jeremy Roschelle

This report presents important takeaways from a one-day National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Forum, “Next Generation STEM Learning for All,” organized by Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International through the STEM Learning and Research Center (STELAR) at EDC, the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) at EDC, and the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL), working in close

Next Generation STEM Learning For All Report



29 pp.

Publication Type: 

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

2016 NSF STEM Video Showcase Spotlights Work to Broaden Participation in STEM

EDC fosters successful STEM learning from preschool through college

From May 17 to 23, nine videos by EDC researchers and instructional designers will be featured in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) 2016 STEM Video Showcase. View EDC's nine videos here.

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 


Subscribe to RSS - Science