Dr. Stephen Scogin

Associate Professor of Biology and Education
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Stephen Scogin has been at Hope College since 2014. He holds dual appointments in the Departments of Biology and Education. Stephen’s teaching includes life science courses for elementary teacher candidates, a science teaching methods course for secondary science teacher candidates, a capstone course for biology majors, and courses in the introductory biology sequence.

Originally trained as a scientist, Stephen embraces research as a means of discovery. As an educator, he has an appreciation for research as a tool to inform practice. STEM education research unites both of these passions: Stephen's research uses mixed methods to investigate innovative STEM teaching/learning environments to better understand the challenges associated with these environments, including how learners develop a sense of belonging.

More specifically, Stephen’s research often focuses on P–12 contexts and explores student motivation, nature-based learning approaches, connecting with STEM communities, and scientist–student partnerships. Since coming to Hope College, he has broadened his research to include the distinctive undergraduate research component for which Hope is known.


  • Ph.D., curriculum and instruction in science education, Texas A&M University, 2014
  • Ed.S., educational administration, Pensacola Christian College, 2010
  • M.S., biology, Stephen F. Austin State University, 1995
  • B.S., biology, Stephen F. Austin State University, 1993

Professional experience

As a person who loved the outdoors and nature, Stephen initially pursued degrees in biology with a particular focus in aquatic ecology. He went on to work in industry, primarily focusing on responsible waste management programs to preserve natural ecology and protect water resources.

While teaching laboratory courses during his master’s degree work, Stephen realized he had a passion for teaching. After several years in private industry, he transitioned into education and has been involved with classroom learning in some capacity ever since. He has taught science at many levels, including upper elementary, junior high, high school and college. Beginning in 2005, Stephen served for six years as the head of school for a private school in Texas. He completed his Ph.D. in science education in 2014.

Selected publications


* identifies Hope students

  • “Supporting students from Day 1 of college: The importance of relatedness to inclusivity” (with *M. Austin, *C. Alexander, C. M. Mader, A. A. Best, et al.), Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 2020
  • “Using authentic project-based learning in a first-year lab to elevate students’ perceptions of engineering” (with *C. Alexander, L. Gruenler, C. Mader, and *M. Bartoszek), International Journal of Engineering Education, 2020
  • “Inspiring science achievement: A mixed methods examination of the practices and characteristics of successful science programs in diverse high schools” (with B. Cavlazoglu, J. LeBlanc, and C. L. Stuessy), Cultural Studies of Science Education, 2018
  • “Learning by experience in a standardized testing culture: Investigation of a middle school experiential learning program” (with *C. Kruger, *R. Jekkals, and *C. Steinfeldt), Journal of Experiential Education, 2017
  • “Identifying the factors leading to success: How an innovative science curriculum cultivates student motivation,” Journal of Science Education and Technology, 2016
  • Encouraging greater student inquiry engagement in science through motivational support by online scientist-mentors” (with C. L. Stuessy), Science Education, 2015


  • The effects of technology on students’ attitudes toward STEM and teachers’ implementation of NGSS” (with I. Wilson), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2021
  • “The effects of nature-based pedagogy on PK-12 students’ attitudes and feelings of well-being” (with *C. Veine, A. Gall, S. D’Agostino, S. Trent-Brown, et al.), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2020
  • “Developing motivationally-supportive online mentoring partnerships in science education,” School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2019
  • “The effects of outdoor pedagogy on motivation, attitudes, and test scores” (with *A. Couwenhoven, *M. Dorantes, *M. Porchik, and *C. Valdes), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2018
  • “Investigating the potential effects of living-learning communities on motivational support in college biology courses” (with *M. Austin, *K. Rietberg, and *C. Alexander), National Association for Research in Science Teaching conference, 2018
  • “Making authentic connections with peers and research: Investigating a residential STEM program” (with *C. Alexander), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2017
  • “Motivating students in course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs): Comparing college science courses using self-determination theory” (with *M. Marks), National Association for Research in Science Teaching conference, 2017
  • “Using a PBL approach to foster more positive attitudes in STEM” (with *C. Kruger and *R. Jekkals), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2016
  • “Evaluation of a middle school problem-based learning course: A four-paper research symposium on STREAM school” (with *R. Jekkals and *C. Kruger), School Science and Mathematics Association convention, 2015
  • “Science teachers’ strategies and actions for motivating science learners in PlantingScience,” Association for Science Teacher Education conference, 2015.

Outside the college

Stephen is married to Holly Scogin, and they have two children—son Peyton and daughter Emily. They enjoy experiencing the beautiful outdoors that Michigan has to offer and frequently hike the many trail systems available in the area.

Profile photo of Dr. Stephen Scogin
Dr. Stephen Scogin

Phone Number616.395.7362

A. Paul Schaap Science Center 3057 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3698
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