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Dean Grosshandler



  • Higher Ed: Mathematics, Higher Ed: Science, Researcher, Evaluator 


Dean Grosshandler, Ph.D., Past Chair of the American Educational Research Association Informal Learning Environments Research SIG, is a research assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He is the project coordinator for the NSF Math Science Partnership, Chicago Teacher Transformation Institutes, led by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Grosshandler also consults nationally for several large informal education institutions and groups and is on the leadership team of the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative. He was a formative evaluator for the NIH SEPA Science Club grant and a consultant for an NSF ALT grant, and in addition to helping develop, write, and implement these grants, has assisted with the development and writing of proposals totaling over $200M.

Grosshandler earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in Math, Science, and Technology Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an NSF Graduate Research Trainee in the Technologies for Learning doctoral program in the College of Education at UIUC, he did extensive work with university-K12 STEM partnerships and continued that work as an evaluator and then in a postdoctoral fellowship with the NSF-funded Center for Curriculum Materials in Science at Michigan State University.

At Northwestern as Associate Director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships from 2007 to 2009, Grosshandler worked to further STEM education through effective partnerships between Northwestern, its partners, and the K-12 and informal education community. He was a researcher and program developer on the NIH Oncofertility Consortium R25 grant, Learning Modules in Oncofertility,, which includes a strong emphasis on out-of-school STEM opportunities for underserved youth, and a grant writer and program developer on the NSF-funded iLabs program,<p>

Grosshandler has served as a reviewer for NSF as well as for several journals and other publications, and serves on the Institutional Review Board of Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and listening to music and serves on the board of a Chicago musical organization, Baroque Band:


Education outreach and faculty partnerships with schools and other educational institutions, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); after-school and out-of-school learning and programs; design-based STEM learning environments research and evaluation 


Wilson, T., Perry, M., Anderson, C. J., Grosshandler, D. J. (2012). Engaging young students in scientific investigations: Prompting for meaningful reflection. Instructional Science, 40, 19-46.

Martell, S. T., Diaz, L. B., Creighton, J., Eberbach, C., Grosshandler, D., & Herrenkohl, L. R. (2010). Facilitation, teaching, and assistance at the intersection of the learning sciences and informal science education. ICLS 2010 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference for the Learning Sciences Volume 2, 468-469. Presentation in Chicago, IL. June 29 - July 2, 2010.

Grosshandler, D. J., & DeStefano, L. (2004). Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership external evaluation: Year 1 report to the National Science Foundation. National Science Foundation. Washington, D.C.

Grosshandler, D. J., DeStefano, L., Burke, M., & Fiedler, E. (2004). Report to the Dean on the status of faculty women in the University of Illinois College of Engineering. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois.

Grosshandler, D. J., & Niswander Grosshandler, E. (2002). The persistence of vision: A reflective examination and narrative of sustainability and fulfillment in a small after-school program. In R. Garner, Y. Zhao, & M. Gillingham (Eds.), Hanging out: Community-based after-school programs for children (pp. 59-74). Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Grosshandler, D. J., & Niswander Grosshandler, E. (2000). Constructing fun: Self-determination and learning in an after-school design lab. Computers in Human Behavior, 16(3), 227-240.