Lauren Barth-Cohen portrait
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Physics And Astronomy
  • Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology


  • May, J, M., & De Grandi, C., Gerton, J. M., Barth-Cohen, L., *Montoya, B., & Beehler, A., (2022). Three-Dimensional Learning in a Reformed Introductory Physics Laboratory Course. American Journal of Physics. Accepted, 02/2022.
  • Barth-Cohen, L., & Braden, S., Young, T., Gailey, S (2021). Reasoning with evidence while modeling: Success at the middle school level. Physical Review—Physics Education Research. Vol. 17(2). Published, 07/2021.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. & Braden, S. (2021). Unpacking the Complexity in Learning to Observe in Field Geology. Cognition and Instruction. Published, 07/2021.
  • Braden, S.,Barth-Cohen, L., Gailey, S., Young, T (2021). Modeling magnetism with the floating paper clip: Cultivating and leveraging visual literacy and talk moves to support diverse learners. Science Scope. Published, 06/2021.
  • Shen, J., Chen, G., Barth-Cohen, L., Jiang, S., & Eltoukhy, M. (2020). Connecting Computational Thinking in Everyday Reasoning and Programming for Elementary School Students. Journal of Research on Education in Technology. Published, 08/2020.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. & Wittmann, M. C. (2020). Learning about Crosscutting Concepts as Concepts. 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences. Published, 06/2020.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. A., Montoya, B., & Shen, J. (2019). Walk like A Robot: A no-tech coding activity to teach computational thinking. Science Scope. Vol. 42(9), 12-16. Published, 07/2019.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. & Jiang, S., Shen, J., *Chen, G., & Eltoukhy, M. (2018). Interpreting and Navigating Multiple Representations as Central to Computational Thinking in a Robotics Programming Environment. Journal of STEM Education Research. Vol. 1, 119-147. Published, 10/2018.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. A., Greenberg, K. I., & Moretz, E. (September 2018). A Model for Earth’s Energy Budget: Unpackingthe relationship between energy and temperature to understand climate change. The Science Teacher, 86(2), 20-27. Published, 09/04/2018.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. (2018). Threads of Local Continuity Between Centralized and Decentralized Causality: The Emergence of an Emergent Explanation. Instructional Science. Published, 05/11/2018.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. A. & Little, A., & Abrahamson, D. (2018). Building Reflective Practices in a Pre- Service Science Teacher Education Course that Focuses on Qualitative Video Analysis. Journal of Science Teacher Education. Vol. 29, 83-101. Published, 02/02/2018.
  • Barth-Cohen, L., & Medina, E. (2017). USING MODELS TO UNDERSTAND SEA LEVEL RISE. The Science Teacher, 84(7), 33. Published, 07/2017.
  • Shen, J., Chen, G. Barth-Cohen, L., Jiang, S., Huang, X, and Eltoukhy, M. (2017). Assessing Elementary Students’ Computational Thinking. Computers & Education. Published, 03/01/2017.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. A, & Wittmann, M. C. (2017). Aligning Coordination Class Theory with a New Context: Applying a Theory of Individual Learning to Group Learning. Science Education. Published, 03/2017.
  • Barth-Cohen, L. A., Smith, M. K., Capps, D. K., Lewin, J. D., Shemwell, J. T., & Stetzer, M. R. (2016). What are middle school students talking about during clicker questions? Characterizing small-group conversations mediated by classroom response systems. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(1), 50-61. Published, 02/2016.

Research Statement

Dr. Barth-Cohen’s research focuses on student learning in science and she works to translate that research in ways that can be useful to K-12 teachers. She studies student learning of the often-difficult concepts in science that are foundational to the scientific enterprise and central to science education. In her research, she designs and implements learning environments aiming to scaffold such conceptual learning, video tapes the instruction, and then conducts qualitative video analysis on changes to learners conceptual understanding over time. Her approach to learning focuses on characterizing learners’ knowledge system over time, and she concentrate on contexts where they are engaged in a variety of knowledge building practices that are similar to the practices of professional science and central to reform-based science education efforts (e.g. developing and using scientific modeling, analyzing and interpreting data, and engaging in argument from evidence). One ongoing project focuses on undergraduate students in reformed-based physics that are engaged in sensemaking about the process of collecting and analyzing data (National Science Foundation DUE-IUSE, #1938721). Another project examines how learners come to generate scientific observations that can function as evidence in a field geology setting (National Science Foundation, EHR Core Research, #2201764).

Research Keywords

  • climate change education
  • Teacher Education
  • Science Education
  • STEM Education
  • Preservice Teachers
  • Precollegiate Education - Science or Mathematics
  • Mathematics Education
  • Cognition

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Developing and Enacting Case-Based Teaching Scenarios in Elementary STEM Education to Bridge the In-Service and Pre-service Teacher Divide. PI: Tracy Dobie. Co-PI(s): Lauren Barth-Cohen. University of Utah, College of Education Research Incentive Seed Grant Program, 03/2020 - 02/2021. Total project budget to date: $12,000.00
  • The Utah Collaborative to Build Capacity for a Streamlined BS/MEd Program in Science Teacher Preparation. PI: Holly Godsey . Co-PI(s): Lauren Barth-Cohen, Mary Burbank, Jordan Gerton, Andrea Rorrer . National Science Foundation, 07/2019 - 06/2020. Total project budget to date: $125,000.00
  • Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students (TREES). PI: Ji Shen. Co-PI(s): Lauren Barth-Cohen and Moataz Eltoukhy. National Science Foundation, 05/2015 - 05/2017. Total project budget to date: $299,998.00
  • Developing and Implementing Case-Based Scenarios to Support Elementary Pre-service Teachers’ Enactment of Equitable Mathematics and Science Instruction. PI: Tracy E. Dobie . Co-PI(s): Lauren Barth-Cohen, Connor K Warner, Lynne Zummo . National Science Foundation, 01/01/2023 - present. Total project budget to date: $0.00
  • Collaborative Research: Learning to observe: Unpacking teachers development of expertise in scientific observation. PI: Lauren Barth-Cohen. Co-PI(s): Lynne Zummo & Holly Godsey; Sarah Braden (PI at USU).. National Science Foundation, 09/01/2022 - present. Total project budget to date: $0.00
  • Exploring Students' Learning of Data Analysis in a Three-Dimensional Lab Environment. PI: Lauren Barth-Cohen. Co-PI(s): Claudia de Grandi , Jordan Gerton, and David Goldenberg . National Science Foundation, 05/01/2020 - 04/01/2023. Total project budget to date: $299,191.00
  • Building Coherence in STEM Learning Opportunities for Pre-Service Elementary Teachers across Disciplinary Boundaries. PI: Lauren Barth-Cohen. Co-PI(s): José Gutierrez , Jordan M Gerton, Aaron J Bertram, . National Science Foundation, 08/01/2017 - 07/01/2021. Total project budget to date: $299,976.00