Rob Rouse

Clinical Associate Professor

Rob Rouse

Department of Teaching & Learning


6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205



Dr. Rouse is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Diversity at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Rouse taught high school chemistry in New York City as a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows. While teaching, Dr. Rouse participated in Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Science Teachers. During his time in the program, Dr. Rouse spent three summers working in a biomedical engineering lab alongside researchers to build devices to provide point-of-care disease testing for people in developing countries. In addition, Dr. Rouse partnered with the New York Hall of Science and Columbia University’s Materials Research Science Engineering Center (MRSEC) to bring technology into his classroom.

While at Vanderbilt, Dr. Rouse carried out research for NSF and IES funded projects spanning science, engineering, and mathematics education. These research inquiries were focused on students in elementary and middle school settings. In his dissertation, Dr. Rouse examined the intersection of science and engineering by investigating how design-based learning environments engaged students in approximations of the epistemic practices of scientists and engineers.

At SMU, Dr. Rouse mentors first-year teachers and teaches graduate courses in integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as well as undergraduate courses in the educator preparation program. Dr. Rouse has expertise in designing integrated STEM learning environments across K-12 and has a track record of partnering with informal and out-of-school education organizations (e.g., the Dallas Arboretum, the Trinity River Audubon Center, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science) to inform pre-service and in-service teachers about STEM learning opportunities for students, educators, and families.

At SMU, Dr. Rouse’s research interests fall into two categories. In the first, he focuses on designing learning environments so that students have opportunities to learn content by participating in age-appropriate STEM practices that resemble the practices scientists, engineers, and mathematicians use to create knowledge. In the second, he focuses on exploring the role of culture, tools, and equity on learning in the emerging field of maker education.

Dr. Rouse is also the former Interim Director of the SMU Maker Education Project, a project he co-founded with a colleague from SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. The SMU Maker Education Project fostered K-12 educators implementing high-quality maker-based activities in their own schools and classrooms. Much of this work was supported by the project’s mobile makerspace, the Makertruck. While Interim Director, Dr. Rouse completed dozens of professional development sessions for educators; worked with students in public and private schools across north Texas; and conducted workshops with public libraries, regional service centers, community centers, and out-of-school science learning venues. In all, Dr. Rouse has conducted maker education workshops with over 600 north Texas educators and led maker-based activities with more than 1,000 K-12 students in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.