Research Scientist

Scott  Pattison

Program/Areas of Interest

  • Informal STEM education
  • Family learning
  • Early childhood
  • Interest and identity development
  • STEM practices and thinking skills
  • System perspectives on education and learning
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods


Scott Pattison, PhD, is a social scientist who has been studying and supporting STEM education and learning since 2003, as an educator, program and exhibit developer, evaluator, and researcher. His current work focuses on engagement, learning, and interest and identity development in free-choice and out-of-school environments, including museums, community-based organizations, and everyday settings. Dr. Pattison specializes in using qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the processes and mechanisms of learning in naturalistic settings. He has partnered with numerous educational and community organizations across the country to support learning for diverse communities.


  • Ph.D. Science Education, Oregon State University 2014
  • M.S. Science Education, Oregon State University 2011
  • B.S. Environmental Science, University of Oregon 2003

Highlighted Publications

Pattison, S. A., Svarovsky, G., Ramos Montañez, S., López Burgos, V., Santiago, A., & De Los Santos, S. (2023). Family-Centered Research: Reflections From a Zoom-Based Recording Method of Families Learning Together at Home. Educational Researcher, 0(0).

Pattison, S., Ramos Montañez, S., Svarovsky, G., & Tominey, S. (2022). Engineering for equity: Exploring the intersection of engineering education, family learning, early childhood, and equity.

Pattison, S., & Svarovsky, G. (2021). Sharpening our focus on equity: Reflections from the Storybook STEM project.

Pattison, S., Svarovsky, G., & Ramos Montañez, S. (2021). Storybook STEM: Children’s literature as a tool for supporting equitable STEM learning for families. Hands On!, Spring, 12–17.

Pattison, S., Callanan, M., Katz, P., Huerta Migus, L., Ramos Montañez, S., Svarovsky, G., & Takeuchi, L. (2020). Four principles for supporting family learning during the global health crisis: Research-based reflections for teachers and educators.

Pattison, S., Gontan, I., Ramos Montañez, S., Shagott, T., Francisco, M., & Dierking, L. (2020). The Identity-Frame Model: A framework to describe situated identity negotiation for adolescent girls participating in an informal engineering education program. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 29(4–5), 550–597.

Pattison, S., Svarovsky, G., Ramos Montañez, S., Gontan, I., Weiss, S., Núñez, V., Corrie, P., Smith, C., & Benne, M. (2020). Understanding early childhood engineering interest development as a family-level systems phenomenon: Findings from the Head Start on Engineering project. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 10(1), 72–89.

Pattison, S., Gutwill, J., Auster, R., & Cannady, M. (2019). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs in visitor studies: A critical reflection on three projects. Visitor Studies, 22(1), 43–66.

Pattison, S., & Dierking, L. (2018). Early childhood science interest development: Variation in interest patterns and parent-child interactions among low-income families. Science Education, 103(2), 362–388.

Pattison, S., Rubin, A., Benne, M., Gontan, I., Shagott, T., Francisco, M., Ramos-Montañ ez, S., & Dierking, L. (2018). The impact of facilitation by museum educators on family learning at interactive math exhibits: A quasi-experimental study. Visitor Studies, 21(1), 4–30.

Pattison, S., Gontan, I., Ramos-Montañ ez, S., & Moreno, L. (2018). Identity negotiation within peer groups during an informal engineering education program: The central role of leadership-oriented youth. Science Education, 102(5), 978–1006.