Stephanie Couch, PhD
What is your favorite invention of all time?
The technology behind the worldwide web is my favorite invention. It has enabled the world to be my library—everybody’s library—and provided us with unlimited technological resources. A close second is my iPod, which is the best personal fitness trainer I’ve ever had.
Interim Associate Vice President of Research and Professional Development at California State University, East Bay, Bayer Executive Director of the Institute for STEM Education, and Director for Gateways East Bay STEM Network at California State University, East Bay
Deputy Director, Policy Programs, and Research, California STEM Learning Network
Director of Statewide Initiatives, School of Education University of California, Davis
PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara Gervirtz Graduate School of Education.
MA, University of California, Santa Barbara Gervirtz Graduate School of Education
BA, University of California, Davis
Why is it important to inspire kids to be inventors?
The act of inventing helps young people learn new ways of thinking and problem solving that will benefit them throughout their entire lives. During the pursuit of solutions to problems they care about, their creativity is unleashed. It is empowering, meaningful, and a catalyst for personal growth. As students put invention projects together—creating shoe soles, electronic textiles, paper speakers—like they do in the Lemelson-MIT Program’s JV InvenTeams activities, they are using materials in new ways and constructing meaning in their own world. At the same time, they are discovering their capability. Creating something new, on your own, and making it work, can have an enormous impact on a kid’s confidence.
Do you have any hidden talents or interesting hobbies?
When time permits, I love to go on a long run. While running is not all that interesting, the things you see, smell and hear can be very interesting.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
I would love to invent new tools to make data capture and analysis for ethnographic research less time consuming and laborious.