• Professor Karen Murcia
  • Educated Co-Lead and Chief Investigator
  • Curtin University

Professor Karen Murcia is a STEM education researcher with expertise in the early years of children’s development. Her research focuses on how digitally aware children engage with science and mathematics, and the impact of technology integration on motivation and approaches to learning. As Chief Investigator in the Educated and Connected Child programs, Karen contributes to the design, implementation and evaluation of research, lending her expertise to forging intersections between researchers and practitioners. Karen hopes that her work in the Centre will help young children use digital technology as active creators for connection, knowledge and play.

Karen brings to the Centre significant research and industry experience in early childhood STEM education. In 2018, Karen led a study on how young children develop computational thinking while coding robots in play-based STEM curriculum in collaboration with the University of South Florida Nexus Faculty Global Collaboration Initiative. In 2021, Karen co-authored and edited Young Children’s Rights in the Digital World: Play, Design and Practice, the first book to cover research on very young children’s rights in the digital age. Karen has been a non-executive Board member of SciTech since 2016, where she co-chairs an innovation sub-committee to help develop their vision and STEM engagement strategies.

Earliest digital memory
Being so excited to do maths homework on my first digital calculator, but under wise guidance from my Mum (who was a teacher) that “a calculator is only as smart as the person using it.” A valuable motto for all young technology users!