Robert Hayes

Robert Hayes

Doctoral Student in STEM Education
200 Boston Avenue, Suite G810
Medford, MA


I got my start in education in my undergrad - through a faculty (Dr. Luisa Chiesa) in the mechanical engineering department I got a summer job developing a curriculum teaching heat transfer and engineering, created by Ed Hazzard at the Concord Consortium. I flip-flopped between engineering (materials science research, design) and education (tutoring, curriculum development for the Tufts Robotics Club) until I landed my first post-grad job at a Computer Science and Making education start-up called TechSmartKids.

While working at TSK I discovered a passion for understanding how kids learn – I found it much more intellectually and emotionally rewarding than engineering. After two years of prolific curriculum development and teaching, I decided to broaden my understanding of education in graduate school. I returned to Tufts, both to be close to friends and family, and because I had worked at the CEEO and knew that the education program here was a place that I wanted to be learning.

I started in the MS program and have since continued on into the PhD program.

CEEO Responsibilities:
At the CEEO, I assist with a variety of projects, both in mentorship and research. I was formerly the Teaching Assistant Manager for the TEEP program, a professional development course progression that seeks to give K-12 teachers both the content and pedagogical tools to effectively implement engineering curricula in their schools.


MS in STEM Education, Tufts University, 2017
BS in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, Tufts University, 2013

Research Interests

My research centers around student experience and agency. I am interested in how we can set up spaces in which students have (and recognize themselves as having) intellectual autonomy - and in characterizing what students do in those spaces.