Irene Porro, Board Member

Dr. Irene Porro is the Director of the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University. She also
leads the MetroWest STEM Education Network, one of nine regional networks established to support the goals of the Massachusetts STEM Council. For the past twenty five years she has been serving in leadership positions at both private and public institutions of higher education and she has been responsible for the growth and management of a rich portfolio of informal science learning experiences for audiences of all ages. These experiences range from youth programs to museum exhibit development, from science festivals to planetarium and science theater performances. Her professional expertise, however, is centered on fostering the creative and human capacity of high school age youth through apprenticeship and mentoring programs which use STEM as an empowering tool for social change. Using a system thinking approach, she has been recruiting teams of professionals from diverse fields and backgrounds whose perspectives and expertise have been critical in the design of programs that integrate the learning of STEM within historical, social, and cultural contexts relevant to the life of the youth we serve.
Irene received her Ph.D. in Space Science and Technology from the University of Padova, Italy. Before entering the field of education, she was a researcher in astrophysics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, in Heidelberg, Germany. She then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she became the Director of the Education and Outreach Group of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.
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