Victor Sampson, Ph.D.

Dr. Victor Sampson, Director of the Center for STEM Education

On September 1, 2015, Victor Sampson was appointed as the new director of the Center for STEM Education, housed in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Sampson, an Associate Professor of STEM Education, takes over from Dr. Jim Barufaldi, who served as director of the Center for the past 35 years.

“I am very excited to work with such a talented team of researchers and teacher educators”, said Dr. Sampson upon his new appointment. Dr. Sampson further comments that he plans to “continue the work of promoting excellence in STEM Education through a combination of high impact research and high quality professional development.”  The Center for STEM Education annually manages research and professional development grants in excess of $10 million, providing professional development to over 9,000 teachers in Texas and publishing research in high-impact journals such as Science Education, The Journal of Research in Science Teaching and The American Educational Research Journal.

Dr. Sampson is an internationally recognized STEM Educator, whose research is focused on improving K-12 STEM education through the use of argumentation strategies. This work led Dr. Sampson and his collaborators to develop the Argument-Driven Inquiry curriculum framework for science labs. Dr. Sampson’s Argument-Driven Inquiry framework is currently being used by science teachers in schools in Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, and Georgia, among other states.

Dr. Sampson began his academic career as a faculty member in the College of Education at Florida State University. Prior to that, Dr. Sampson received a Ph.D. in Science Education from Arizona State University, in Tempe, AZ. Dr. Sampson also brings 9 years of high school science teaching in Seattle and Phoenix to his new role.