NGSS Writing Team Leader: Melanie Cooper

Melanie Cooper is the Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Clemson University. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson since 1987, where she teaches general and organic chemistry and chemistry education courses.

Dr. Cooper was recently appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Engineering and Science Education, a department devoted to discipline-based education research (DBER). Her research has focused on methods to assess and improve students’ conceptual understanding and problem-solving abilities and strategies, using interventions that promote metacognitive activity. An outgrowth of this research is the development and assessment of evidence-driven, research-based, curricula, for example: the NSF funded general chemistry curriculum, Chemistry life, the universe and everything, in which the principles of chemistry are developed within the context of the emergence and evolution of life on Earth. She has also been involved in the development of BeSocratic, an interactive formative assessment system that can recognize and respond to student free-form input.

Dr. Cooper received her BS, MS and PhD from the University of Manchester, England, and she carried out postdoctoral work in organic chemistry before turning to chemistry education as her area of research. Ms. Cooper is a Fellow of the AAAS and is a member of the first class of American Chemical Society Fellows. She has received a number of awards for excellence in teaching, including the 2011 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award (OUSTA).