Dr. Yan Sun

  • Assistant Professor


Ph.D., Learning Design and Technology, Purdue University (2013)

Post-Doc, Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Texas A&M University (2014)

Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics, Purdue University (2012)


Research Interests

Dr. Sun’s research revolves around the area where STEM education intersects with technology. She is interested in examining how technology can be integrated to improve STEM teaching and learning. Dr. Sun employs qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research methodologies in her research on innovative technology-integrated STEM education pedagogy, projects, and interventions. She is active in seeking federal funding to improve and innovate STEM education.



PI, Integrating Computational Science Practice, Weather Data Analysis, and 3D Visualization in the Secondary Earth and Environmental Science Curriculum, NSF STEM+C program, award number: 1934194, award amount: $1,632,209.00.

External Evaluator, Implementing Novel STEM Practices in Rural Education (INSPIRE), NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, award number: 1852795, award amount: $826,169.00.

PI, Teaching Innovations Designed with Emerging Technologies (TIDE Tech), Mississippi State University Ottilie Schillig Teaching Award, award amount $2831.85

Co-PI, Rethinking Rural Education Preparation Programs Initiative (REP), US Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership grant. Award amount: $3,049,215.00. Award number: U336SJ600I8.

Co-PI, Project Engage, US Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Grant. Award amount: $738,165.00. Award number: Pl20Al60122.

Co-PI, Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant, Award amount: $51,200.



2020 Faculty Research Award, College of Education, Mississippi State University (February 2020)

Featured research paper highlighted at 2016 AECT International Convention at Las Vegas for innovation and research rigor: Student Teaching Experience and Pre-Service Teacher’s Readiness for Technology Integration: A Mixed Methods Study (October 2016)

Faculty Team Award for Institute for P-12 Engineering Research & Learning (INSPIRE) team, College of Engineering, Purdue University (April 2011)


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Wheat, C., Sun, Y., & Hocutt, M. (2018). Active University Teaching and Engaged Student Learning: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v18i4.22784

Sun, Y., Strobel, J., & Newby, T. (2017). The impact of student teaching experience on pre-service teachers’ readiness for technology integration: A mixed methods study with growth curve modeling. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(3), 597-629. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-016-9486-x

Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2014). From knowing-about to knowing-to: Development of engineering PCK by elementary teachers through perceived learning and implementing difficulties. American Journal of Engineering Education, 5(1), 41-60.

Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2013). Elementary engineering education (EEE) adoption and expertise development framework: An inductive and deductive study. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 3(1), 32-52.

Luo, Y., Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2013). The effect of collectivism-individualism on learners’ cooperative learning of motor skills. Journal of International Students, 3(1), 41-51.

Sun, Y. (2012). The EMPIRe model as a thinking tool to prepare teachers for technology integration. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 5(2), 95-110.

Yu, J. H., Luo, Y., Sun, Y. & Strobel, J. (2012). A conceptual K-6 teacher competency model for teaching engineering. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences Journal, 56, 243-252.


Rogers, R., & Sun, Y. (2018). Engaging STEM students from rural Areas: Emerging research and opportunities. MePA: IGI Global.

Book Chapters

Strobel, J., & Sun, Y. (in press). Current state and suggestions for the K-12 STEM school industry partnership in the United States. In Technology education. Germany.

Okojie, M., & Sun, Y. (2020). Foundations of Adult Education, Learning Characteristics, and Instructional Strategies. In M. C. P. O. Okojie, & T. C. Boulder (Eds.), Handbook of research on adult learning in higher education (pp. 1-33). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Sun, Y. & Okojie, M. (in press). 3D modeling and printing integrated lesson planning: A competency-building project to improve pre-service teachers’ readiness for technology integration. In M. C. P. O. Okojie, & T. C. Boulder (Eds.), Handbook of research on adult learning in higher education (pp. 446-472). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Sun, Y., Okojie, M., Yu, W. W., Boulder, T. C. (2019). Elementary students as digital makers: Improving STEM+C teaching and learning with digital making. In S. P. Huffman, S. Loyless, & S. Albritton (Eds.), Leveraging technology to improve school safety and student wellbeing (pp. 262-280). MePA: IGI Global.  

Sun, Y., Rogers, R., & Winship, J. (2019). An authentic and sustainable STEM pre-service teacher professional development model: Authentic learning experience and preparing for tomorrow’s STEM professionals. In D. Polly, C. Martin, & K. Dikilitaş (Eds.), Handbook of research on educator preparation and professional learning (pp. 321-339). MePA: IGI Global

Teslow, J., Sun, Y. & Strobel, J. (2016). Chapter 31: Assessing K-12 engineering education curricula: A holistic and practice-oriented perspective. In D. Wyse, L. Hayward, & J. Pandya (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (pp.487-506). SAGE, Chicago.

Rogers, R., Winship, J, & Sun, Y. (2015). Systematic support for STEM pre-service teachers: An authentic and sustainable four-pillar professional development model. In Dikilitaş, K. (Ed.), Innovative professional development methods and strategies for STEM education (pp. 73-90). MePA: IGI Global.

Sun, Y. & Strobel, J. (2013). Conceptualize Elementary Engineering Education (EEE) Adoption and Expertise Development. In Mammes, I. (Ed.). Technische Bildung von Anfang an - nationale und internationale Perspektiven (pp. 142-158). Hohengehren: Schneiderverlag.


Selected Conference Proceedings and Presentations

Sun, Y., Wheat, C., & Wedgworth, J. C. (2019). Learning Engagement Trajectories in an Active Learning Space. American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2019 Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Sun, Y., & Rogers, R. (2018). Measuring online learning self-efficacy: A multi-dimensional tool. American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2018 Annual Conference, New York, NY.

Sun, Y., & Rogers, R. (2017). Validating an instrument for measuring online learning self-efficacy: A structural equation modeling approach. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2017 International Convention, Jacksonville, Florida.

Sun, Y., Wheat, C., Hocutt, M., & Wedgeworth, J. (2017). Learning, pedagogy, and space: Student engagement and faculty teaching paradigm shift. American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2017 Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Sun, Y. (2016). Student teaching experience and pre-service teachers’ readiness for technology integration: A mixed methods study. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2016 International Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wheat. C., Sun, Y., Hocutt, M. & Wedgeworth, J. (2016). Active University Teaching and Engaged Student Learning: A Mixed Methods Approach. 2016 Mid-South Educational Research Association Meeting, Mobile, Alabama.

Sun, Y. (2015). Tinkering and engineering Reinforcement: Improve mathematics learning through 3D printing and modeling. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2015 Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2015). The K-12 STEM School-Industry Partnership: Where it is and where it should go? American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2015 Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2013). Instructional tools, pedagogy, and elementary engineering teaching: A typological approach. American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2013 Annual Conference, San Francisco, California.

Kim, N, Tafur, M, Kim, W., Carr, R. L., Luo, Y., Sun, Y., Yuksel, T., Weber, N. R., Dyehouse, D., & Strobel, J. (2012). Design fixation and cooperative learning strategies in elementary engineering education, in Online Repository of the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Sun, Y., Boots, N. & Strobel, J. (2012). EEE (Elementary Engineering Education) adoption and expertise development model: Conceptualizing, assessing, and tracking elementary teachers’ EEE adoption and EEE expertise development. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National conference 2012, San Antonio, TX.

Yu, J., Luo, Y., Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2012). A Conceptual K-6 Teacher Competency Model for Teaching Engineering. Regional Conference on Engineering Education & Research in Higher Education 2012, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Sun, Y., & Strobel, J. (2011). Engineering, learners, and contexts (ELC): Development of pedagogical engineering knowledge by elementary teachers through perceived learning and implementing difficulties. Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Madrid.


Professional Leadership

Editorial Board, Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (2012-2019)

Reviewer, IGI Global

Reviewer, European Journal of Engineering Education

Reviewer, AERA conferences

Reviewer, AECT conventions


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