Dr. Anne Leak joined the Stout School of Education at High Point University as an assistant professor in 2018. Dr. Leak received her BA in physics from Gettysburg College and her PhD in science education from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Leak has taught pre-school through graduate level science and led fun STEM outreach events including Family Ultimate Science Experiences (FUSE) and the School for Scientific Thought (SST) with the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships.
Prior to joining the Stout School of Education, Dr. Leak was a postdoctoral researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology were she (1) taught introductory physics labs, (2) led workshops on teaching methods and professional development, and (3) conducted physics education research, including investigating entry and success in STEM industry careers and access and equity in science learning. This research was part of an NSF-funded project focused on photonics and optics workforce education research (POWER) and she currently participates in the NSF-funded American Physical Society (APS) PIPELINE network to develop strategies for integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into physics departments nationally.
Dr. Leak has taken her science teaching and research around the world. She has been a Fulbright Fellow exploring science education in Cameroon, West Africa and has been awarded grants to develop approaches for community-driven and place-based science pedagogy in Kenya. Her research focuses on learning contexts – including curriculum, culture, technology, and environment – as students learn science. Her research within this focus has explored (1) the role of a community-based STEM program on improving health and access to STEM education in rural Kenya, (2) the ways in which graduate students in chemistry learn to network and collaborate across cultures through research visits to China, and (3) examining U.S. elementary students’ social interactions as they learn to use new technologies.
Dr. Leak endeavors to provide students and future teachers with experiences that allow them to recognize and value cultural aspects involved in science practice in order to improve access to effective and inclusive STEM learning. Part of learning science involves understanding the role of culture, tools, and technology of scientific communities and how they practice science. For learners around the world, the intersections of culture and science dictate how people position themselves as scientists and how their cultural knowledge fits or conflicts with that of scientific communities.