Melissa Kjelvik

Professional Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
About Me (Bio)
I am a postdoctoral researcher on the DRK-12 project “Scientific Data in Schools: Measuring the efficacy of an innovative approach to integrating quantitative reasoning in secondary science”. I received my B.S. in Natural Resources from Northland College and my Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior. For my dissertation research I examined ecological consequences of individual-level behavioral variation in sunfish.

During graduate school I was able to work in 12+ rural Michigan school districts and learn from seasoned partner teachers through the Kellogg Biological Station’s K-12 Partnership. I co-founded Data Nuggets - short classroom activities designed to bring authentic data and cutting-edge scientific research into K-16 classrooms. My experience in both ecological research and science education inform the way I think about innovations for K-12 education as I am constantly incorporating both worlds while engaged with data-intensive curriculum development, teacher PD, and outreach efforts.
Michigan State University (MSU)

Data Nuggets ( are classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, which give students practice interpreting quantitative information and making claims based on evidence. The goal of this research is to investigate whether the integration of real data from cutting-edge scientific research in grade 6-10 classrooms will increase students’ quantitative reasoning ability in the context of science.