Currently active research projects include:
  • Gateway Teen Science Café – Teen-directed monthly conversations about hot topics in science and engineering, held in an informal setting. Program evaluation is examining impact on students’ interest in and attitudes towards STEM. Funded by the National Science Foundation through Science Education Solutions, Inc.
  • Robert Noyce Scholarship Program – This is a five-year grant providing scholarships for pre-service teachers in STEM fields. Program evaluation is exploring the value of a self-efficacy framework for supporting and preparing future STEM teachers. Funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Motivations in EarthCaching – This research on informal science learning is examining why people participate in the EarthCache program and what they learn. Funded by the SIUE STEP program.
  • Inspire STEM – Partnering with the East St. Louis school district, SIUE is providing teacher professional development, with a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards. Funded by the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Astronomy Cast – Weekly pod cast on astronomy topics done by our astronomy research group.
    Graebe STEM Classroom, East St. Louis
  • CosmoQuest is a web site that promotes astronomy research using citizen scientists to analyze visual data from various NASA research missions. Research is focused on keeping the public engaged in the process of scientific discovery. Content also includes teacher classroom materials for astronomy and planetary geology units. Cosmoquest is funded by multiple NASA grants.
  • Maximizing Mentor Effectiveness – Research is examining the best approaches for training mentors to effectively inspire and motivate middle school students as they participate in Botball robotics competitions. Funded by a National Science Foundation ITEST grant.
  • William Frederick Graebe Sr. STEM Classroom at the East St. Louis Charter School – The STEM Center led the design of a high-technology classroom designed to teach students STEM in a way that integrates 21st Century job skills. Researchers are studying the effects of the learning environment on instructional practices and student outcomes. Funded through a private donation and Herman Miller, Inc.

Journal Articles

  • Keel, W.C., Manning, A.M., Benner, W.H., Mezzoprete, M. Lintott, C.J., Schwinski, K., Gay, P.L. and Masters, K.L. (2013). Galaxy Zoo: A Catalogue of Overlapping Galaxy Pairs for Dust Studies. Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (January) 125, 2 (DOI: 10.1086/669233).
  • Locke, S., Libarkin, J., and C.-Y. Chang, 2012. Geoscience education and global development. Journal of Geoscience Education, 60, p. 199-200.


Conference Proceedings


  • Locke, S. A retrospective look at two field-based programs to increase access and inclusion in the geosciences. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p.874.
  • Lichtenberger, E., Locke, S., and George-Jackson, C., 2013. How does progression through college impact the academic qualifications and diversity of geosciences aspirants? Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p.661.
  • Gay, P., Collaborative cyberinfrastructure: Crowdsourcing of knowledge and discoveries (Invited). Abstract IN23B-1425 presented at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 7-13, 2013.
  • Gay, P., CosmoQuest Team, Designing a virtual research facility to motivate professional-citizen collaboration. Abstract ED51D-01 presented at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 7-13, 2013.
  • Gibbs, M., Buxner, S., Gay, P., Crown, D., Bracey, G., Gugliucci, N., Costello, K., & Reilly, E. Collaboration on teacher workshops and citizen science. Abstract ED51A-0589 presented at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 7-13, 2013.


  • Gugliucci, N., (2013). CosmoQuest: Citizen science with a virtual research observatory. Poster at the Lunar Science Forum
  • Bracey, G., Costello, K., Reilly, E., Gugliucci, N., & Gay, P.,(2013). Using online citizen science in the classroom: The development and evaluation of CosmoQuest’s TerraLuna curriculum. Poster at the Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference, San Jose, CA.
  • Gugliucci, N., (2013).Citizen science motivations as discovered with CosmoQuest. Poster at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific meeting, San Jose, CA.
  • Vaughn, D., Bracey, G., Feldmann, M.,(2013). Inspire STEM: Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program (WIP5) Summer Professional Development, June 17-28, 2013. Poster at the Common Visions, Common Goals conference, Normal, IL.



  • Herberts, S. (2013). Inspiring interest in STEM through hands-on learning. ACT Regional Conference, Springfield, IL.


  • Bracey, G. (2013). Evaluation of a virtual citizen science facility: A comprehensive mixed-methods approach. Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference, San Jose, CA.
  • Gugliucci, N.,(2013) Citizen science with CosmoQuest.  Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference, San Jose, CA.
  • Hall, M., Mayhew, M., Locke, S.,Amann, K., Rutherford, H., Forsythe, S., Herberts, S. and Selvakumar, M., Rose, A., Cross, L., Cockson, B.(2013). Engaging teens with a youth-directed teen science café. ASTC National Conference, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Suiter, M., Berg, R., Atchison, C. and Locke, S., (2013). Geoscience Across Cultures and Communities: Benefits and Challenges of Diversity,Technical Session, 2013 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO.


  • Gay, P., Tafreshi, B., (2013). Getting at the truth (of Astrology) in the village of Milies. Discover the Cosmos Conference. Volos, Greece.
  • Gay, P.,(2013). The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility: Motivating everyday scientists. Discover the Cosmos Conference, Volos, Greece.
  • Gay. P.,(2013). Moon Mapping: Understand the accuracy of science done by hand. Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Gay, P.,(2013) Cosmoquest: Science Inside. Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Gay, P., Lehan, C., Bracey, G., Gugliucci, N., and the CosmoQuest team, (2013). CosmoQuest: Building a research facility for the public. Communicating Astronomy to the Public, Warsaw, Poland.

Grant Awards and Contracts


  • S. Locke, PI, G. Bracey, Project Director. (2014). Inspire STEM Partnership. East St Louis School District #189 (Illinois State Board of Education). $54,792.
  • J. Krim, PI, S. Locke, Co-PI, K. Barry, Co-PI, S. Wiediger, Co-PI. (2013-2018). SIUE Noyce Scholarship Program:  Preparing Future Science Teachers for Southwestern Illinois. National Science Foundation. $1,199,100.


  • P. Gay, PI. (2013). Moon Mappers Development for LRO. Universities Space Research Association. $26,552.
  • P. Gay, PI.(2012-2015). Guerilla Citizen Science. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. $898,796.
  • P. Gay, PI.(2012-2013). Planet Pipeline. Space Telescope Science Institute. $21,000.
  • P. Gay, PI. (2012-2013). Moon Mappers. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. $23,774.
  • S. Locke, PI. (2012-2015). Creating a Community of Practice around a Proven Teen Science Cafe Model. Science Education Solutions, Inc. (National Science Foundation).$73,497.
  • G. Mayer, PI, S. Thomas, Co-PI, S. Locke, Co-PI, J. Weinberg, co-PI, S. Marlette, Co-PI.(2011-2014). Collaborative Research: Maximizing Mentor Effectiveness in Increasing Student Interest and Success in STEM: An Empirical Approach Employing Robotics Competitions. National Science Foundation. $515,289.
Print Friendly