Dr Maria Turkenburg

Profile

Biography

Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands

  • MSc Chemistry/Biochemistry/Biophysics

University of York

  • DPhil Chemistry
  • PGCE Science (Chemistry)
  • PhD Education

Career

After my DPhil in Chemistry I worked for ten years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the York Structural Biology Laboratory, developing tutorial material and manuals for the CCP4 Suite of computer programs for protein crystallography, and testing its graphical user interface. I then trained as a secondary school science teacher, but soon after qualification decided that whole class teaching was not for me. I subsequently tutored GCSE and A-level chemistry and biology students, and continue with tutoring whenever I can.

Science is very important to me. I have been a STEM Ambassador since 2007. I perform outreach tasks when time allows. When the opportunity came to take up a PhD research project studying science teachers from a social science perspective, I jumped at the chance.

My PhD research focused on the impact on teachers’ thinking and on classroom practices of the introduction of How Science Works into science curricula for secondary education. I have since been a researcher on projects studying adolescent twins’ decision making about their education, and the impact of a CPD course for primary school science specialists. In my current role as a research officer for project RISES (Research Into Spaceflight and Engagement with STEM) I investigate primary and secondary school pupils’ attitudes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in response to learning about human spaceflight, in particular the influence of the British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission on the International Space Station in 2016.

University roles

I work part-time for the University of York's Welcome Service, supporting new employees with their relocation to York.

Research

Overview

My research interests are in How Science Works and the Nature of Science, how curriculum change affects teachers, and students’ and teachers’ attitudes to science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Projects

80% of my time is dedicated to project RISES (Research Into Spaceflight and Engagement with STEM), where we investigate primary and secondary school pupils’ attitudes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subject in response to learning about human spaceflight, in particular the influence of the British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission on the International Space Station in 2016. I also work on evaluative projects, of the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (based in the Department of Physics), and ‘Science is for Parents Too’ (science courses for parents as developed by the Centre for Lifelong Learning).

Research group(s)

Collaborators

  • Prof Thomas Krauss and Dr Andrew Hirst, Department of Physics (WRIPA-e)
  • Dr Alex Brown and Mr Iain Barr, Centre for Lifelong Learning (SifPT-e)

External activities

Memberships

  • I am a member of the Association for Science Education.

Editorial duties

  • I am sub-editor of Chemistry Review, a magazine for A-level Chemistry students.

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Contact details

D/K/129b
Department of Education
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44(0)1904 323444

@SpaceRISES