George Lucas Educational Foundation

Ainissa Ramirez

Science Evangelist

Ainissa G. Ramirez, PhD, is dedicated to making science fun for people of all ages. She is the author of the TED book Save Our Science, which is based on her TED talk on improving science education. She is also the co-author of Newton’s Football, which shows the stealthy science behind the game. Before all of this, she was a popular engineering professor at Yale University for 10 years. She received her PhD from Stanford University in materials science and engineering and holds several patents, one of which was awarded MIT’s Top 100 Young Innovators award.

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  • Integrated Studies

    Building Critical Thinkers by Combining STEM With History

    By asking students to explore the history of scientific discoveries, we get them to view their world with more wonder—and more skepticism—and condition their minds to think about causes and effects.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    The Lowdown on Longhand

    Taking notes by hand helps students form deeper connections to information than they do when using a laptop.
  • Education Trends

    Start That Podcast!

    With a strong vision, simple setup, and plan for content, format, production, and promotion, you can turn your expertise, unique approach, and enthusiasm into a podcast.
  • STEM

    5 Reasons Why Origami Improves Students' Skills

    Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, has applications in the modern-day classroom for teaching geometry, thinking skills, fractions, problem solving, and fun science.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    The Science of Fear

    The amygdala is your brain's 911 operator, triggering a hardwired reaction to danger. Fear is fun to learn about, but fear itself can hinder learning!
  • Inquiry-Based Learning

    A Case for Curiosity

    Young children are always asking "why?" because humans are born scientists. We can nurture this by modeling the value of curiosity, exploration, and experimentation.
  • Resilience and Grit

    Making Friends With Failure

    Science evangelist and Edutopia blogger Ainissa Ramirez suggests that we make friends with failure in the academic world - because for scientists, failure is just another word for data.
  • Interest-Based Learning

    Passion-Based Learning

    Science evangelist Ainissa Ramirez advocates passion-based learning as the best possible way to bring out students' inner geeks and make the subject matter personally meaningful to them.
  • Education Trends

    Creativity is the Secret Sauce in STEM

    Science evangelist and Edutopia blogger Ainissa Ramirez turns STEM into STEAM through the amazing, artistic secret sauce of creativity.
  • Assessment

    The Dark History of the Multiple-Choice Test

    Science evangelist Ainissa Ramirez reveals the questionable origins of the multiple-choice test and questions whether this is truly a valid form of assessment.
  • STEM

    Quick, Draw a Scientist!

    As long as science is perceived as geeky, U.S. students are less likely to embrace STEM subjects. They need to reimagine what scientists look like.
  • Technology Integration

    The Immutable Impact of Black Scientists and Inventors

    For Black History Month, Edutopia blogger Ainissa Ramirez talks about the African-American scientists and inventors responsible for some of modern life's indispensible components: light bulbs, elevators, air conditioning, traffic signals, gas masks . . .
  • Social and Emotional Learning


    Edutopia blogger Ainissa Ramirez revisits the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment to consider the value of teaching children patience and self-regulation, and how these character-building skills will benefit them later in life.
  • STEM

    Why Students Leave STEM

    To keep women and people of color engaged in STEM, let's ignite an early passion for these topics, provide mentors and role models, and emphasize subject relevance.
  • Creativity

    Bored? Good, You'll Be More Creative

    Nobody likes boredom, yet research has shown that restless, wandering minds are capable of greater creativity than those bombarded by data and enmeshed in multitasking.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation