Texas Tech University

Gina Childers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Curriculum & Instruction

Email: Gina.Childers@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-7313

Office: Education 268

Gina Childers is an Assistant Professor of STEM education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. She currently serves as the STEM Education Track Program Coordinator and is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Science Education. Previously, Dr. Childers was an Assistant Professor of Middle Grades/Secondary Education at the University of North Georgia, Director of Research and Development for a nonprofit education organization, instructional coach serving rural, suburban, and urban schools in North Carolina, and a high school biology in Savannah, Georgia.

Currently, Dr. Childers is directing a research study focused on science and STEM interest, identity connections, and learning at science fiction conventions. Furthermore, Dr. Childers recently has been awarded two National Security Agency (NSA) grants in collaboration with the University of North Georgia in designing cybersecurity education professional learning opportunities for K-12 teachers in Georgia and conducting research on teachers' perceptions of cybersecurity awareness.

She was awarded the Applied Research in Immersive Environments for Learning (ARIEL) SIG “Best Paper” in 2017 by the American Education Research Association (AERA) and the John C. Park National Technology Leadership Fellowship Award in 2016 by the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Hite (Texas Tech University) and Dr. M. Gail Jones (North Carolina State University). In 2011, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year at Savannah Early College. Dr. Childers has two energetic cats and enjoys crocheting, gardening, hiking, and playing computer games.

Gina Childers, Ph.D.


  • Doctorate (PhD) in Science Education, North Carolina State University
  • Master's in Public Health, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia
  • Master's in Curriculum and Instruction, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Georgia

Areas of Expertise

  • Technology use in Science Education
  • Informal, Non-Formal, and Community Engagement Science Education
  • Program Evaluation
  • Cybersecurity Education

Selected Publications


Jones, M.G., Corin, E., Ennis, M., Clayton, E., & Childers, G. (2019). Discovery engineering in physical science: Case studies for grades 6-12. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Hite, R., Childers, G., Ennis, M., & Jones, M.G. (2019). Discovery engineering in biology: Case studies for grades 6-12. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Refereed Research Publications

Childers, G., Governor, D., Osmond, D., & Britton, S. (2021). Science cafes: Exploring adults' motivation to learn science in a community space. Research in Science Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-020-09982-2

Johnston, R., & Childers, G. (2021). Musical pantophagy: Is there an effect on changes in preference resulting from repeated exposure? Psychology of Music. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0305735620987299

Jones, M.G., Childers, G., & Stanley, R. (2020). Science instruction in STEM and non-STEM high schools. Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education, 24(4), 69-90.

Hite, R., Jones, M.G., Childers, G., Ennes, M., Chesnutt, K., Pereyra, M., Cayton, E. (2019). Pre-service and in-service science teachers' technological acceptance of 3-D, haptic-enabled virtual reality instructional technology. The Electronic Journal of Science Education, 23(1), 1-34.

Hite, R., Jones, M.G., Childers, G., Ennes, M., Chesnutt, K., Pereyra, M., Cayton, E. (2019). Investigating potential relationships between adolescents' cognitive development and perceptions of presence in 3-D, haptic-enabled, virtual reality science instruction. Journal of Science Education and Technology, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-018-9764-y

Jones, M.G., Childers, G., Corin, E., Chesnutt, K., & Andre, T. (2019). Free choice science learning and STEM career choice. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 9(1), 29-39.

Hite, R., Jones, M. G., Andre, T., Childers, G., & Corin, E.N. (2019). Female and minority experiences in an astronomy-based hobby. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 14(4), 937-962.

Pumo, M., Korreck, J., Hollis, G., Childers, G., & Zwadyk, B. (2019) Coaching, confidence, and retention: Instructional coaching and new teachers: A working research paper. CollectivED: Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, 9, 40-47.

Chesnutt, K., Jones, M. G., Corin, E., Hite, R., Childers, G., Pereyra Perez, M., Cayton, E., & Ennes, M. (2018). Crosscutting concepts and achievement. Is a sense of size and scale related to achievement in science and mathematics? Journal of Research in Science Teaching. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21511.

Chesnutt, K., Jones, M. G., Hite, R., Cayton, E., Ennes, M., Corin, E., Childers, G. (2018). Next Generation Crosscutting Themes: Factors that contribute to students' understandings of size and scale. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55(6), 876-900.

Jones, M.G., Childers, G., Andre, T., Corin, E., & Hite, R. (2018). Citizen scientists and non-citizen scientist hobbyists: Motivation, benefits, and influences. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 8(4), 287-306.

Corin, E., Jones, M.G., Andre, T., & Childers, G. (2018). Characteristics of lifelong science learners: An investigation of STEM hobbyists. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 8(1), 53-75.

Childers, G., & Jones, M.G. (2017). Learning from a distance: High school students' perceptions of virtual presence, motivation, and science identity during a remote microscopy investigation. International Journal of Science Education, 39(3), 257-273.

Jones, G., Corin, C., Andre, T., Childers, G., & Stevens, V. (2017). Factors contributing to lifelong science learning: Amateur astronomers and birders. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(3), 412-433.

Madden, L. Jones, M.G., & Childers, G. (2017). Teacher education: Modes of communication within asynchronous and synchronous communication platforms. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 52(2), 16-30.

Jones, M.G., Hite, R., Childers, G., Corin, E., Pereyra, M., & Chesnutt, K. (2016). Perceptions of presence in 3-D, haptic-enabled virtual reality instruction. International Journal of Education and Information Technologies, 10, 73-81.

Corin, E., Jones, G., Andre, T., Childers, G., & Stevens, V. (2015). Science hobbyists: Active users of the science-learning ecosystem. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 7(2), 161-180.

Childers, G. & Jones, G. (2015). Students as Virtual Scientists: An exploration of students' and teachers' perceived realness of a remote electron microscopy investigation, International Journal of Science Education, 37(15), 2433-2452.

Jones, G., Childers, G., Emig, B., Chevier, J., Tan, H., Stevens, V., & List, J. (2014). The efficacy of haptic simulations to teach students with visual impairments about temperature and pressure. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 108(1), 55-61.

Zhu, Y., Tracy, J., Dong, J., Jiang, X., Jones, G., & Childers, G. (2013). Teaching a multidisciplinary nanotechnology laboratory course to undergraduate students. Journal of Nano Education, 5(1), 17-26.

Refereed Book Chapters

Hite, R., Childers, G., & Jones, M.G. (2019). Review of Virtual Reality Hardware Employed in K-20 Science Education. In Zhang, Y., and Cristol, D. (Eds.), Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning 2nd Edition (1-12). Springer International Publishing, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Jones, G., Childers, G., Emig, B., Chevrier, J., Stevens, V., & Tan, H. (2016). The efficacy of visuohaptic simulations in teaching concepts of heat, pressure, and random motion. In N. Papadouris, A. Hadjgeorgiou, and C. Constantinou (Eds.), Contributions from Science Education Research Volume 2 (73-86). Springer International Publishing.

Jones, M. G., Childers, G., Andre, T., Corin, E., & Hite, R. (2016). Citizen scientists and science hobbyists: Educating the life-long learner. In J. Lavonen, K. Juuti, J. Lampiselkä, A. Uitto & K. Hahl (Eds.), Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2015 Conference. Science education research: Engaging learners for a sustainable future, Part 8, (150-159). Helsinki, Finland: University of Helsinki. ISBN 978-951-51-1541-6

Jones, G., Hite, R., Childers, G., Corin, E., Pereyra, M., Chestnutt, K., & Goodale, T. (2015). Teachers' and students' perceptions of presence in virtual reality instruction. In K. Psarris and C. Guarnaccia (Eds.), Recent Research in Engineering Education (15-24). Salerno, Italy: University of Salerno. ISBN: 978-1-61804-312-2

Childers, G. & Jones, G. (2014). Students as virtual scientists: A review of remote microscopy use in education. In A. Mendez-Vilas (Ed.), Microscopy: advances in scientific research and education (1195-1198). Formatex Research Center: Spain.

Refereed Practitioner Publications

Hite, R., Childers, G., Ennes, M., & Jones, M.G. (2020). Quit bugging me: Controlling mosquitoes to stem malaria infection. NSTA Reports, 31(7), 17. (Reprinted from Discovery Engineering in Biology).

Childers, G., Wolfe, K., Dupree, A., Young, S., Caver, J. Quintanilla, R., & Thornton, L. (2016). Sculpting the barnyard gene pool: Immersing students in the science and engineering of chicken genetics and hatcheries. The Science Teacher, 83(7), 49-54.

Childers, G., Watson, K., Jones, G., Williamson, K., & Hoette, V. (2015). Touching the stars: Making astronomy accessible for students with visual impairments. Science Scope, 38(9), 20-26.

Jones, M.G., Childers, G., Stevens, V., & Whitely, B. (2012). Citizen scientists: Investigating science in the community. The Science Teacher, 79(9), 36-39.