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(617) 873-9600

Gilly PuttickImage Modified

Program/Areas of Interest

Life sciences and climate change; Laboratory Lab-based learning; Learning disabilitiesTechnology integration; Interdisciplinary learning

Biographical Summary

Gilly Dr. Puttick is currently a co-leader of the Life Sciences Initiative Group at TERC. This group seeks to understand the nature of students’ encounters with living systems through laboratory experiences. The goal is to develop an integrated K-13 progression in life sciences curriculum and associated teacher professional development., and the ways in which the affordances of technology can enhance learning.

Her current work focuses on the intersection of environmental science, biological sciences, technology integration, engineering, robotics and computational thinking practices in middle school.  Gilly is currently the principal or co-principal investigator of two projects: Biocomplexity and the Habitable Planet and Girls Energy Conservation Corps (GECCo)Biocomplexity is focused on developing a high school capstone course in Ecological Environmental Science, while GECCo engages 8 – 10 year old girls as change agents in energy conservation. She is also currently co-PI of Under the MicroscopeAccessing Science Ideas (ASI) and Atlantic Institute for the Biological SciencesUnder the Microscope is examining the published research on life-science laboratory experiences to assess the extent to which teaching the distinctive characteristics of biology is studied and effective; ASI is studying curriculum content enhancements that address the challenges posed by learning life sciences to students with learning disabilities in inclusive classrooms; and Atlantic Institute is a Math-Science Partnership between Salem State College, University of Puerto Rico, TERC and 14 school districts in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico to enhance the teaching and learning of life sciences in grades 7-13.

Download Curriculum Vitae


Research on the Development of Computational and Systems Thinking in Middle School Students through Explorations of Complex Earth Systems and Designing Biomimetic Robots. Research questions being addressed include:

  • How does the integration of data, techniques, tools, theories and perspectives from more than one discipline position students to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline?
  • How does participatory pedagogy – which draws on the cultural and social resources that students bring to the classroom – support interdisciplinary learning and broaden participation?

Download Curriculum Vitae



Puttick, G., Drayton, B., Pickett, S. and Berkowitz, A. Environmental Science and Biocomplexity.  Mt. Kisco, NY: Its About Time Publishers. (Textbook to appear 2015)


American Education Research Association, National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, Ecological Society of America, Learning Disabilities Association