Inspiring kids’ love of science through the power of story.
Tumblehome is a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on the development of narrative-based curriculum and academic research about science and engineering education, across a broad range of fields. Our organizational mission is to make STEM education more fun and meaningful by embedding scientific content into a narrative format, which enhances STEM identity and helps children imagine themselves as future scientists or engineers.
Pendred “Penny” Noyce
Penny Noyce is a doctor, educator, writer and publisher. She studied biochemistry at Harvard and medicine at Stanford, then completed a residency in internal medicine in Minnesota. She moved to the Boston area, where she practiced at a community health center for several years. From 1993-2002, Penny helped lead a statewide math and science improvement effort called PALMS in the state of Massachusetts. She gradually withdrew from medical practice to focus on her education work and on raising her five children.
From 1991-2015, Penny helped lead the Noyce Foundation, established in honor of her father, Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel. The foundation focused on improving science education nationwide, especially by supporting afterschool science. In 2016, this work led to the establishment of STEM Next, a nonprofit that supports out-of-school science clubs and programs across the country. One initiative of STEM Next is the Million Girls Moonshot, seeking to help a million girls build, event, and gain an engineering mindset.
Penny has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, includingthe Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, TERC, the Libra Foundation of Maine, the Concord Consortium, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications and the AAAS public Outreach Committee. For five years, she served on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
As her older children set off for college, Penny began writing for middle-grade children. She has written seven books in the Galactic Academy of Science series along with four other novelfor ages 9-13. Besides novels, she has written one picture book about science explanations(The Book of Wrong Answers) and nonfiction books on bridges, inventors, and historical women of science.She is working on her first graphic novel and is helping to lead an NSF-funded project that teaches kids in afterschool settings about epidemiology and data, using her novel The Case of the COVID Crisis.
Barnas Monteith runs Tumblehome Learning, which focuses on creating curriculum and learning materials for K-12 science and engineering education. Barnas has served for many years as Chairman of the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, Inc. — the oldest dedicated inquiry based science education non-profit in the state. As a young student, Barnas was one of the most successful science fair participants in MSSEF history, with four 1st place MSSEF wins, four 1st place Regional wins, two International (ISEF) 1st place Grand Awards, and a number of other scholarships and special first prize awards. His projects focused on the study of dinosaur and bird evolution using fossilized eggshell microstructures and biochemistry. Today, he continues to mentor students developing their own science fair projects.
A graduate of Tufts University, Barnas spent nearly a decade doing paleontology expeditions in many of the major vertebrate fossil-bearing beds of North America. He did work at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology researching the Triassic vertebrates of Arizona, including possible Phytosaur nesting behaviors, and was one of the youngest researchers ever to present a plenary lecture at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology. Later, he conducted research at MIT Media Lab and based on this technology, started several successful technology companies focusing on software, wearable tech, and the manufacture of synthetic diamonds for the semiconductor, lighting and energy industries.
Barnas currently conducts academic research on STEM pedagogy, engaging students in cutting edge science and engineering projects. He serves as a key leader in several NSF projects, focused on the use of computers and AI to help students learn more about the natural and man-made worlds around them.
Barnas has served on the Massachusetts Department of Education Math & Science Advisory Council and the inaugural Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, as Chair of its Public Awareness subcommittee. He has authored a number of patents, published scientific articles in a variety of areas of paleobiology, energy/semiconductors and materials science and speaks regularly at STEM education events and conferences throughout the world. He is presently leading AI research and development efforts for several of Tumblehome’s current NSF funded projects.
Dr. Janice Mokros, Lead Researcher
Laura Martin, Senior Researcher
Dr. Jacob Sagrans, Associate Researcher
Key Operations Staff:
Rebecca Raibley Bryden, VP of Operations Boston, MA
Yu-Yi Ling, Director, Asia-Pacific, Taipei; Operations Specialist
Natalie McGregor, Office Manager, Boston, MA