Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Nanda Duhé Kirkpatrick

Director, Precollege Science Education Programs

· B. A. Rice University (Biochemistry), 1983

· M. A. Rice University (Biochemistry and Cell Biology), 1990.

· Doctoral Studies (currently) University of Houston, Curriculum and Instruction, Concentrations: Teacher and Science Education.

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As the Director of Precollege Science Education Programs, Ms. Kirkpatrick oversees the design and implementation of a variety of K-12 outreach projects funded by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Although the focus of individual projects are tailored to the needs of specific groups, in general, Rice University's precollege science education projects are designed to increase representation of females and underrepresented minorities in science, mathematics and technology.

Some of the projects funded by the HHMI that are overseen by Ms. Kirkpatrick include:

  • The Galveston Bay Project for Teachers
  • The Galveston Bay Project for Girls
  • The Force and Motion Institute
  • Science Curriculum support for The Rice School/La Escuela Rice

as well as the NSF-funded Equity Initiatives for Science and Mathematics projects:

  • Science and Mathematics Institute
  • Equitable Classroom Practices Institute
  • Secondary Female Mentoring


Nanda will direct the implementation of a recently-awarded grant from the National Science Foundation that will team outstanding undergraduate and graduate students from Rice University and the University of Houston with novice and exemplary master teachers in HISD in an exchange of content knowledge and pedagogical strategies among the individual team members. This project is designed to enhance instruction at the middle school level and to provide higher education students with a meaningful experience in the K-12 setting so that they can better provide support for teachers and students as they pursue their future careers. Planning is currently underway, and university students will be accepted during the Spring, 2000 semester to begin working with teachers next summer.

Ms. Kirkpatrick works closely with representatives from the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to insure that all projects meet identified needs of the local teacher and student population. She chairs the University/College Coalition's Professional Development Task Force that has been set up to support HISD's current science and mathematics reform, one of the latest Urban Systemic Initiatives funded through the National Science Foundation.

Nanda's background includes teaching middle and high school science in a number of unique environments including serving as a U. S. Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), where she taught secondary science at the Institut Nsona Mpangu. She also worked at the Institut Superieur Pédagogique as a teacher trainer for new volunteers in that country. While living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she taught students in a variety of science disciplines. Her last teaching assignment before joining the university was at Robert E. Lee High School in the Houston Independent School District where she taught science to recent immigrant students in a sheltered ESL program.

In addition, Ms. Kirkpatrick has worked as a research specialist in the Department of Research and Evaluation (now Research and Accountability) in HISD where she authored reports submitted to the HISD Superintendent on local programs including Magnet Programs specializing in Science, Mathematics or Computers, Pre-Kindergarten, and After-School Programs. She has also worked as a consultant to gather statewide data for a study on teacher preparation programs funded by the Texas Education Agency.

After hours, along with being a parent of very active twin two-year old boys, she is currently completing her dissertation in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Houston where she is specializing in teacher education.

This page was last updated 8/20/99.
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