about us:


Carolyn DeCristofano is a curriculum and instruction specialist and President of Blue Heron STEM education. For over twenty-five years, she has focused on creating STEM and multi-disciplinary experiences for various learners -- museum visitors, K-8 teachers, and their students. Her projects have included curriculum, exhibit, and program development and educational research; she has worked with numerous school districts and educational institutions, such as the Museum of Science (Boston), Harvard's Project Zero, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, TERC, and WGBH, Boston. The former Professional Development Director for the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) project, she served on the development team for EiE, and as a Blue Heron consultant, still works with the program. As part of Blue Heron, she worked on the Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) team, in Mobile, Alabama, playing an editorial and developer role for its middle school STEM curriculum modules. She also works with other projects and provides professional development nationally. In addition, Carolyn is the author of nonfiction books for children, including the acclaimed A Black Hole is NOT a Hole (Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc., 2012), and enjoys providing author visits during her travels. Her most recent book, National Geographic Kids Ultimate Space Atlas, was published in the summer of 2017.

Blue Heron is thrilled to formally harness Barry DeCristofano's unique capacities and perspectives in the service of high-quality STEM education for K-adult learners. On the technical front, Barry has the in-depth knowledge of engineering and science gained from working for thirty-three years as a chemical engineer at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC). While there, he worked on several different projects that underpinned the development of protective gear for U.S. troops. He understands the importance of innovation and creativity--he is a patent holder and a published leader in his field--and brings his expertise to bear in his workshops and classrooms. In addition, with a career that immersed him in research, data acquisition and analysis, modelling, product development and team leadership in various areas of study--such as fluid dynamics, heat transfer, materials science, shock and electromagnetic wave propagation, and the interactions of these phenomena with human physiology--he has unique insights to share on the primary themes of the NGSS--science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Given his extensive reliance on coding to further his own work, he is particularly interested in bringing coding education to Blue Heron's programs. Although his primary career has been in engineering, Barry has served as an educator in various ways since 1988. A well-received provider of science and astronomy programs for the general public, scouts, and elementary classrooms, he has also served as consultant to National Science Foundation curriculum projects and to i2 Learning/Boston STEM Week. In addition, since 2001 he has been an adjunct faculty member for Northeastern University's Mechanical Engineering Technology Program, where he develops and implements undergraduate courses to develop the next generation of STEM professionals.