A photo of Mike with his hands on a plasma ball at a museum.
Director of Educational Outreach and Research • PISEC Program Director • Research Associate
JILA • Department of Physics

Office: JILA A502, 440 UCB

With over a decade of experience as an outreach practitioner across both academic and community-based institutions, Dr. Mike Bennett is intimately familiar with multiple aspects of informal STEM education.  Mike received a Ph.D in nuclear physics in 2016 from Michigan State University's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, then moved to CU Boulder to lead the JILA PFC's outreach initiative as the Director of Educational Outreach and Research.  As the Director of the PISEC program, Mike oversees the implentation of PISEC's partnership-based informal STEM education intiatives, collaborating with both CU organizations and local partners to support PISEC's current outreach and develop new opportunities for both volunteers and student participants. 

As a Research Associate with the CU Physics Education Research Group, Mike is involved in a number of projects addressing many aspects of informal STEM education.  Currently, Mike is leading an investigation of the factors that influence the pedagogical preferences of PISEC volunteers as well as spearheading a collaborative effort to design and disseminate on a large scale a toolkit for comprehensively assessing the long-term impacts of informal STEM programs on their participants.  Mike is also involved in research on student productivity, agency, ownership, and identity in PISEC, and is a founding member of the IPER network.

Mike is constantly thrilled to be able to collaborate with incredibly skilled and enthusiastic researchers, including collaborators at Michigan State University and University College Dublin.  When not engaged in PISEC activities, Mike enjoys Friday-night karaoke and exploring the Boulder area's abundance of craft distilleries.