Research, Evaluation, and Innovation Staff
Education and Professional Background: Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Lehigh University, and a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Florida. Her extensive background in informal science education includes roles with the Museum of Science in Boston and work on PBS shows SciGirls and Dragonfly TV: Nano. Before joining the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM), Lisa worked as the Deputy Director of Maker Ed.
Roles and Responsibilities: Through her work with BADM, Lisa puts research into the hands of educators and parents so that it is relevant and usable. This focus manifests itself in Lisa’s contributions to BADMs position papers; product development; professional development trainings; and her role overseeing BADM’s design challenge space and its mobile engineering lab, the Try It Truck.
Areas of Expertise: In Lisa’s professional endeavors, she has shared science learning and research with teachers, students, informal educators, and other professionals so that they feel confident and supported. Her expertise is reflected in multi-media projects, research papers, and products, as well as in her efforts to establish an innovative museum practice for BADM.
Michelle Weissman Randall
Head of Research and Evaluation
Education and Professional Background: Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Francisco State University and a Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught both at the preschool and university level, and has extensive experience working as an evaluator helping individuals and organizations study the effectiveness of a wide variety of educational programs for teaching and learning.
Roles and Responsibilities: At the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Michelle authors original research publications for a range of audiences including parents, educators, and museum professionals. She leads the museum’s evaluation work to support data-driven decision making around educational programming and other museum initiatives, and creates and leads professional development trainings for BADM staff and external clients.
Areas of Expertise: Throughout Michelle’s career, she has focused understanding how children learn, the tools they use for learning, and the socio-cultural influences on their learning. Both her academic training and her extensive experience in teach and psychological and education research allow her to guide and develop programs to be most successful.
Early Education Advisor
Education and Professional Background: Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education. She has served as the Director of Early Childhood Education at the Center of Science and Industry, is a founding member of the leadership team on early childhood for the Association of Science and Technology Centers, and, since 2014, has acted as the commissioner for First 5 Marin.
Roles and Responsibilities: Amy guides Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) staff in developing curriculum and creating marketing and communications content, as it relates to early childhood education. Her contributions to BADM's position papers and collateral come from the perspective of how to apply research findings to daily life. She is also responsible for creating professional development trainings for BADM staff and external clients, including teachers and librarians.
Areas of Expertise: Amy’s deep academic understanding of early childhood education—and the more than ten years she has spent in the field—is evident in the way she contributes to the design of museum programs and exhibits, operations, and informal evaluations. Her passion and practical experience influences her work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their caregivers.