Photo of Jennifer Knudsen
Jennifer Knudsen (Ms., she, her)

Jennifer Knudsen, TERC MPACT director, is an educator whose experience is at the intersection of research and design. She has led the development of ground-breaking project- and problem-based middle-school mathematics and interdisciplinary curricula, often with integrated technology. As the principal investigator of a series of design-and-research projects with innovative professional learning models, she has experimented with improvisational games for setting mathematical norms. As a mathematics and computer-science teacher in New York City Public Schools, she brought activities from gifted-and-talented programs to students in “remedial” classes and wrote a problem-solving curriculum for aspiring engineers. Each of these projects focused on educational equity for youth from marginalized communities. Knudsen learned to love mathematics at the Evergreen State College where she received an interdisciplinary BA degree. Her focus as a maker is on arts and crafts—watercolor, collage, and, recently, slow stitching.  

Photo of Elise Levin-Güracar
Elise Levin-Güracar (she/her)

Elise Levin-Güracar, is a math educator and researcher. On MPACT, she is the teacher liaison and social media lead. She studied education, public policy, and sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and received her secondary math teaching credential after student teaching with a 7th grade class. She continues to teach home school groups and elective classes. She has designed curriculum and taught weekly math courses for 6th and 7th grade homeschool math classes, including on: Math and Communication, Math and the Brain, Math and Making. As a maker she enjoys gardening, playing with acrylic paint, and learning new crafts (recently punch needle and water marbling).  

Photo of Harriette S. Stevens
Harriette S. Stevens (she/her)

Harriette S. Stevens, Ed.D. with a focus on mathematics instruction and curriculum design from the University of San Francisco, is an independent senior math education designer with TERC. As a mathematics educator, she has experience teaching in urban secondary schools in the South, Midwest and in Harlem, New York City, and at community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over 30 years she directed mathematics professional development programs for K-12 teachers at the University of California’s Lawrence Hall of Science, with a focus on bridging research and best practices in teaching and learning mathematics. She has collaborated with urban school districts nationally, developed mathematics curricular and teacher in-service materials. Her work focuses on supporting teachers in connecting real-world problems to mathematics, in integrating technology into classroom practices and in engaging students to take ownership of their mathematics thinking. These experiences have fueled her passion for optimizing the participation of historically underrepresented students in STEM fields. In addition to her professional practice, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, and cultivating her urban backyard garden as a habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. 

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Ken Rafanan (he/him)

Ken Rafanan, M.A. Stanford University, is a senior STEM Education researcher at TERC. His work focuses on designing learning experiences to democratize access to making and mathematics in both formal and informal learning environments. In the MPACT project, Ken co-designed learning activities with our pre-pilot teachers, led teacher professional development sessions, and provided technical support for the 3D design and printing. He currently leads a National Science Foundation project researching how to support the development of maker identities for young women of color in a local makerspace. Ken enjoys building furniture in the wood workshop and loves creating and teaching pottery (and loves learning new making disciplines).  

Photo of Teresa Lara-Meloy
Teresa Lara-Meloy

Teresa Lara-Meloy (Ed.M, Harvard Graduate School of Education) is a Senior Mathematics Education Designer at TERC. She has over 25 years of experience in education research and design. Her primary interest is in middle school mathematics and the professional development of math teachers and coaches. Her technology-integrated curricular and professional development materials have impacted tens of thousands of students. She currently leads two multi-million NSF-funded projects. Both of these projects involve finding better ways to engage students in flowering as mathematicians, whether through classroom mathematical argumentation or by fabrication and making activities in an afterschool setting. At the core of her interest is finding the multiple ways in which Emergent Multilinguals (EM, particularly Spanish-speaking ones) participate and learn. She dabbles in making, trying out different making media, such as constructing with cardboard, sewing, watercoloring, and enameling.