About the Director

Engineering_portraits_018crop.jpgDr. Stacy Klein-Gardner took on the position of Director of the Center for STEM Education in April 2011 just as the Center began.  An engineer by training and in her ways of thinking, she received a BSE in biomedical and electrical engineering from Duke University in 1991.  She then earned her M.S. from Drexel University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1996.


Dr. Klein-Gardner's career focuses on K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, particularly as it relates to increasing interest and participation by females.  Dr. Klein-Gardner  serves as the Director of the Center for STEM Education for Girls at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN.  Here she leads professional development opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for K-12 teachers and works to Identify and disseminate best practices from successful K12, university and corporate STEM programs for females.  This Center also leads a program for rising 9th through 12th grade girls that integrates community service and engineering design in a global context.


She continues to serve as an Adjoint Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering and Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt University where she partners with other universities in NSF-funded research to develop the Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric.  She ran NSF-funded programs such as Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) for nine years. She served as the Associate Dean for Outreach in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering from 2007-2010. She established the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) engineering pathway from K-12 with Race to the Top funding in 2010-2011 and is working with the state of Tennessee on potential adoption plans for the new Next Generation Science Standards.


Dr. Klein-Gardner is also active alumna of the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) and Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, where she serves on the Board of Visitors.  In 2012 she received the Distinguished Service Award from Pratt.  Dr. Klein-Gardner is also active in the American Society for Engineering Education, serving as the immediate past-chair of the 800+ member K12 division.