University at Buffalo

Naomi Thompson (she/her/hers)

Naomi Thompson

Assistant Professor


Specialty/Research Focus

Learning Sciences; STEAM; Out-Of-School Learning; Connected Learning; Community Education; Video Analysis; Educational Equity

Professional Summary:

I am interested in the ways crafting, art-making, and other design activities can intersect with and enhance equitable learning in both formal and informal environments. Particularly, I seek to design educational experiences in ways that highlight and honor voices and practices that are traditionally minoritized and undervalued in educational settings.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, Indiana University, Learning Sciences (2020)
Awards and Honors:
  • American Educational Research Association Division C (Learning and Instruction) New Faculty Mentoring Program Participant; American Educational Research Association; 2024-01-30;
  • Spring 2024 Graduate School of Education Grant Fellow; Graduate School of Education; 2023-11-21;
  • University at Buffalo Office of Inclusive Excellence Professional Development Awardee; University at Buffalo Office of Inclusive Excellence; 2023-06-27;
  • International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) Early Career Workshop Participant/Awardee; International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS); 2023-03-15;
Recent Publications:
Journal Article:
  • Thompson, N. (2023). Weaving In: Shifts in Youth Mathematical Engagement Through Weaving. Educational technology research and development.
  • Peppler, K., Sedas, R. M., Thompson, N. (2023) Paper Circuits vs. Breadboards: Materializing Learners’ Powerful ideas Around Circuitry and Layout Design. Journal of Science Education and Technology (JOST).
  • Thompson, N. (2023). “Some Angles Are Gonna Be Weird”: Tinkering with Math and Weaving. Sustainability, 15(9), 7363.
  • Thompson, N. (2022). “Math cleverly disguised as/with string”: experienced weavers’ engagement with mathematics. Research in Mathematics Education, 1-21.
Recent Presentations:
Invited Lectures:
  • Thompson, N. (February 26, 2024). (Re)Negotiating with Materials for STEAM Learning. Invited Guest Speaker for Technical University of Munich "Tangible Computational Design for Learning" Project Week.;
  • Thompson, N. (February 15, 2023). Weaving Together STEAM and the Spaces that Surround It. Invited Guest Speaker for Rutgers University Lunch & Learn Learning Sciences Talk Series.;
  • Thompson, N. (March 30, 2023). Exploring Materials for STEAM Learning. Invited Guest Speaker for University of Texas at El Paso Science Methods Course.;
  • Fairbanks, M., Hess, E., Davis-Rosenbaum, S., Thompson, N., & Hart-Brinson, R. (2024) Weaving Innovations. To be presented at Play, Make Learn Conference: Madison, Wisconsin, USA. July 18-19;
  • Peppler, K., Keune, A., Thompson, N., Saxena, P. (2023, April 12-16). Craftland Is Mathland: Mathematical Insight and the Generative Role of Fiber Crafts. [Poster Session]. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.;
Recent Grants:
  • Visualizing Brilliance for Equity in STEAM (ViBES) with Video Lab; Local; Graduate School of Education Labs for Equity-Oriented Transformative Research; Awarded; (01/01/2024-06/30/2025)
  • Conductive chemistry learning: Critical technological explorations for early childhood--Global Scholar in Residence; Local; University at Buffalo Office of International Education; Awarded; (01/01/2024-05/23/2024)
Recent Activities:
Professional Service:
  • Communications Committee for ISLS (International Society of the Learning Sciences)