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Heather Toomey Zimmerman

Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman

Professor of Education (LDT)

Phone: 814-867-2654

310E Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Learning and Performance Systems


  • Learning, Design, and Technology



Heather Toomey Zimmerman is a Professor of Education (LDT) for the College of Education at Penn State.


Heather has a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences from the University of Washington, with degrees in Museum Studies from the University of Washington and Science Communication from Cornell University.


In her research, Heather analyzes the social and cognitive practices people use to learn about science and technology in everyday settings. She studies how multiple learning experiences contribute to developing scientific knowledge, practices, and affiliations towards (or away) from science. Her interests include parent-child interactions, designing for learning in informal institutions, the role of technology in supporting learning across settings, and gender issues that intersect with STEM disciplines.


Prior to coming to Penn State, Heather worked in museums involved in designing and implementing programs for families, youth organizations, and libraries—including an early childhood program called Storybook Science and a community-based program for rural and urban youth.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels



Equity and Diversity
Learning Sciences

Curriculum Areas

Science Ed

Individual Difference

Family Processes
Human Development
Learning Processes

Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Multiple Methods
Qualitative Research
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