Holly Plank is a Graduate Student Researcher and PhD student in the Learning Sciences and Policy (LSAP) program in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading in the School of Education. Her research interests include teacher education, STEAM, computational thinking, and environmental justice. Holly's background is in Earth and Space Science Secondary Education.
She is a former middle school science and physical science teacher, department chair, school leader, and instructional coach. As an instructional coach, Holly supported preservice and novice K-12 teachers in a variety of core subjects and STEM electives with curriculum development, culturally sustaining pedagogy, learning environment planning, family engagement, real-time coaching, and more. She earned her Master's in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Oklahoma and has served as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development and Science Content Faciliator with Teach for America-Greater Tulsa as well a School Director with Teach for America's National Institute.
As a reseacher, she has experience in reserach-practice partnerships. She worked on a PA Smarts grant focused on computational thinking and collaborative problem solving that involved quantiative and qualitative data collection from students and teachers at five school sites, data analysis, and communication of results and implications. She also supported the launch of a research-practice partnership at MuseumLab between the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Manchester Academic Charter School. She is currently working on two grant-funded projects that support inservice teachers in integrating content like environmental justice and data science as well as English Language Arts and computer science to support historically underrepresented students. At Pitt, Holly has served as a teaching assistant and instructor of record in the Master's of Art in Teaching program.
Holly is passionate about informal and outdoor education. She worked at Camp Kirchenwald as a counselor, Naturalist, and Assistant Director. In her free time, she enjoys time with family, playing volleyball, and exploring the outdoors with her dog, Merry.