Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Kathy Perkins
University of Colorado Boulder


"for the systematic development, dissemination, and evaluation of the physics education tool, PhET Interactive Simulations project, used world-wide by millions of students and their teachers."


Kathy Perkins directs the PhET Interactive Simulations project at University of Colorado Boulder, and a faculty member in Physics Education Research. Her current work focuses on advancing the design and classroom use of interactive simulations to increase engagement and learning in STEM, and on scaling impact with free, open educational resources. Her work and research in STEM education also includes sustainable course reform, students’ beliefs about science, and institutional change. She holds a B.A. in physics (1992), an M.A. in chemistry (2000), and a Ph.D. in atmospheric science (2000), all from Harvard University. In 2003, she joined Carl Wieman and the PhET project, serving as co-director (2008-10) and director (2010-present). She served as associate director (2006-10) and director (2010-16) of CU’s Science Education Initiative. She has authored over 60 articles on STEM education. Under her leadership, PhET has grown to over 80 million sim uses per year worldwide, and has received international recognition, including being named a 2017 WISE Award winner, a 2011 Tech Award Laureate, and winner of the 2014 Reimagine Education Award.

Selection Committee:

2018 Selection Committee Members: Ken Heller (Chair), Mats Selen (Vice Chair), Howard Matis ('17 recipient), Dawn Meredith, Dave Pritchard, Toni Sauncy