About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of STEAM Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, I was a learning scientist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. I was also an affiliated researcher with the Learning Media Design Center at Carnegie Mellon University. A recent version of my CV is here. My email is peterwardrip at gmail dot com.

My research and practice focus on: the design of STEAM-based learning experiences, assessment for learning within hands-on learning environments and research practice partnerships.


I have been interested in teaching and learning ever since I started college. When I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, I became a high school Latin and ReadingĀ  teacher: first at Washington Park High School in Racine, Wisconsin and then Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Indiana.

After Bloomington, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, designed and facilitated teacher trainings in the Republic of Armenia through the US Peace Corps, and earned a master’s degree in Human Ecology from the Centre for Human Ecology in Edinburgh, Scotland. I returned to the Midwest to work as a researcher at Northwestern University providing technical assistance for school reform projects and developing project-based instructional units.

As a graduate student at Pitt, I worked with Louis Gomez and Phillip Herman to integrate technology with instruction at a partnership school, and studied data-informed instruction in a charter school network. With Jenn Russell and Louis Gomez, I studied how to initiate and support organizational networks in education. I wrote my dissertation on badging systems to support learners’ motivation.

At the University of Wisconsin, I am a faculty member in Curriculum and Instruction in the Design, Informal and Creative Education area. If you’re interested in applying to our graduate program, take a look at those links and feel free to email me.

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