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I am a science education researcher, and I conduct research with the overarching goal of improving the scientific literacy of nonscientist members of the public, particularly pre-service teachers. 

I am also the Director of Illinois State University’s Center for Mathematics, Science, & Technology (CeMaST). The goals of CeMaST are to:

  1. Empower ISU-led STEM leaders in the solving of societal problems. Our objective is to support ISU community members s they seek opportunities to use their STEM expertise to solve societal problems, such as climate change, poverty, food and water availability, spread of preventable disease, and educational quality.
  2. Support the integration of evidence-based instruction into STEM classrooms. Our objective is to support the transition toward evidence-based teaching practices in STEM classrooms at all levels, but particularly at ISU and especially those practices that help to alleviate under-representation by minoritized groups in STEM.
  3. Reach out to and serve communities who are currently marginalized by mainstream STEM. Our objective is to make high-quality, evidence-based STEM learning opportunities that reflect a diversity of STEM perspectives available in Illinois’s under-served communities.


  • Ph.D., Mathematics & Science Education (2007), University of California, San Diego & San Diego State University
  • M.S., Ecosystems Biology (2002), Eastern Michigan University
  • B.S., Biology (2000), Western Illinois University

Contact Information

Dr. Rebekka Darner
Illinois State University
Campus Box 5960
Normal, IL 61790-5960
Office: 102 Campus Religious Center
Phone: (309) 438-3071 

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