Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D.

Education Associate

Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D., is IDRA’s STEM and gender equity education specialist with more than 10 years of experience in STEM education as a middle school science teacher, university instructor and graduate research assistant in engineering education. She provides professional development and technical assistance to schools across the nation on effective STEM education for all students. She designs and delivers interactive training that provides teachers tools for increasing student achievement in STEM areas.

Dr. Garcia co-leads the Alamo STEM Ecosystem that brings together educators, industry and other partners, increasing opportunities for young students to work directly with technology to expand their problem-solving skills. She is responsible for the Defense STEM Education Consortium naming the Alamo STEM Ecosystem as one of four STEM hubs in the country. She leads this DSEC project to work with students, teachers and industry to build STEM pipelines for underserved students.

Dr. Garcia directs IDRA’s VisionCoders™ program that is a new eighth grade computer science course being developed by IDRA in partnership with Texas A&M University–San Antonio and Title I middle schools in Bexar County. In this course, middle school students who are in at-risk situations will become software designers who create educational games for prekindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students (their “buddies”).

Dr. Garcia directed IDRA’s Texas Chief Science Officer program and, as an IDRA EAC-South project associate, she coordinated service delivery activities in the area of gender equity to school systems and classrooms across the U.S. South.

Dr. Garcia earned her doctor of philosophy in interdisciplinary learning and teaching with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). She also earned a master of arts in education and bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in grades 4-8 math and science from UTSA. She holds a teaching certification for grades 4-8 in math and science, as well as a generalist certification for grades EC-6. Dr. Garcia serves as the lead of the Alamo STEM Ecosystem, a county-wide community of practice with a commitment to provide STEM/STEAM experiences for all students with a focus on students traditionally underrepresented in STEM/STEAM.

Her areas of research have included equity frameworks in STEM education, specifically those centered on inquiry and inclusivity; critical race theory and LatCrit approaches in STEM education; critical and engaged pedagogy in STEM curriculum and instruction; STEM curriculum development and teacher education; and youth leadership through family and community engagement.

Dr. Garcia has served as a public school science teacher, department chair and mentor for new teachers in the San Antonio Independent School District. Leveraging her teaching experiences and master’s degree, she began as a lecturer for graduate and undergraduate courses at UTSA. It is within this role, she trained in-service and pre-service teachers to implement equitable teaching and learning practices within STEM curriculum and instruction.

Dr. Garcia also served as a graduate research assistant within the National TRESTLE Network, a multi-institution, National Science Foundation-funded project that studies and implements a model for improving STEM education at public research universities. As an embedded education expert, she worked alongside faculty in biomedical and chemical, civil and environmental, and electrical and computer engineering to transform undergraduate STEM education at UTSA. This interdisciplinary approach to course transformation focused on developing student competencies by incorporating evidence-based strategies, formative assessments, peer-assisted learner models, project-based learning, and culturally responsive pedagogy to improve student engagement and learning outcomes in UTSA engineering courses.

Media featuring Dr. Stephanie Garcia

Building an Ecosystem for Latina Prosperity. Latinitas Conversando podcast featuring Stephanie Garcia, Gabriela Kane Guardia, Johanna Moya Fábregas & Jaime Puente. South by Southwest Edu