Mary M. Atwater is an inaugural Fellow of the America Educational Research Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past president of NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research. In April 2017, she was recently elected again to a three-year term as Chair of the CADASE RIG where she led the effort to establish CADASE, NARST’s first research interest group (RIG) and served as its elected Chair until she was elected President-elect of NARST. She has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of several federally funded and privately funded grants totally over $3.9 million annd is presently the PI of NSF-funded EAGER grant entitled “Exploring Racial Microaggression in Science Education”. Her publications include articles, book chapters, edited books, and a co-authored K-8 science program.

Areas of Expertise

  • multicultural science education
  • science teacher education
  • chemical education
  • college science teaching and learning


  • socio-cultural-political factors that influence science learning and teaching
  • college science teaching and learning
  • chemical education



  •  Ph.D. in Science Education (minor chemistry), 1980
    North Carolina State University
  •  M.A. in Physical organic chemistry, 1972
    University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  •  B.S. in Chemistry, 1969
    Methodist College (currently Methodist University)


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