Headshot of Jennifer Ponder.

Jennifer Ponder

UAB STEM Education Center Co-Director
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(205) 975-6150

UAB School of Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Associate Professor & Chair

Dr. Jennifer M. Ponder, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and co-director of the University STEM Education Center at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a leader in STEM education. Prior to earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University in 2005, Dr. Ponder taught 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade science. In 2006, she joined the faculty at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) where she was awarded tenure and rank of Associate Professor in 2012.

During her tenure at CSUF, Dr. Ponder served as the principal investigator for Preparing a New Generation of Educators for California, an initiative funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. Her work focused on developing innovative teacher preparation programs that would prepare K-12 teachers to implement the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in order to ensure that all students were career and college ready after completing high school. Dr. Ponder worked closely with local school districts, community colleges, key stakeholders in the community, and colleagues in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Education to develop a pipeline for teacher educators who were trained to address the needs of diverse learners in the areas of science and math. Additionally, this work strengthened connections between content knowledge and pedagogy by aligning the university undergraduate core curriculum with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards while increasing collaboration across disciplines.

Dr. Ponder’s research interests include girls and STEM education, early childhood STEM education, the integration of the arts with science, and teacher preparation and induction. Dr. Ponder has presented her work at local, national, and international conferences and has served as a consultant for various school districts across the country.