Darby Feldwinn

Darby Feldwinn
Lecturer SOE
Joint Appointment: The Department of Education UCSB
Co-Director of the South Coast Science Project
Director of the 5th Grade Outreach Program
Director of Sci-Trek

Contact Phone

(805) 893-2127

Office Location

3649B PSB-N


Chemical Education, Curriculum Development, Teacher Professional Development 


PhD University of California, San Diego, Chemistry 


Darby Feldwinn received her PhD from UCSD, where she worked in Dr. Andrew Kummel's laboratory researching oxides/IIIV semiconductor interfaces. During her graduate career she first took an interest in teaching and won the teaching assistant excellence award. After graduating she stayed on at UCSD for an additional year as a postdoc where she continued her research and taught general chemistry. Darby joined the UCSB faculty in 2009.


Teaching Website: http://www.chem.ucsb.edu/~feldwinn/

Research Objective 

Darby co-founded the SciTrek program in 2010.  Currently the majority of her research focuses on this program .  SciTrek is a 2nd-8th grade outreach program that carries out long-term inquiry investigations with students.  In addition it provides professional development for teachers to increase their comfort with leading inquiry based science in the classroom.  Darby is the program director for the elementary (2nd -5th grade) portion of the SciTrek program.  As program director she writes all of the SciTrek curriculum, run professional development workshops for teachers and volunteers, run SciTrek modules in local classroom, and oversee the research being carried out on the program.

While many studies have been done on how outreach programs affect students’ attitudes toward science, few studies have been carried out to see how these programs affect students’ understanding of scientific practices.  SciTrek is working on developing assessments to track both how their program is changing students’ understanding of scientific practices as well as students’ attitudes toward science.  The 3rd grade studies, in which students are given ten questions which they need to classify as testable/not testable, have shown that students come into the program with an average score of 51% and leave the program with a score of 81%.  In addition, to changing students’ understanding of scientific practices SciTrek also has had a positive influence on students’ attitudes toward science.  Of the ~ 960 students that participated in the SciTrek program in the 2013-2014 school year 60% of them reported liking science more after their involvement with SciTrek.  


Selected Research Publications

  1. J. Shen, D.L. Feldwinn, W. Melitz, R. Droopad, and A.C. Kummel “Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Study of Interfacial Bonding Structures of Ga2O and In2O/In0.53Ga0.47As(001),” MicroElectronic Engineering 88: 377-382 (2011)
  2. J. Shen, W. Melitz, D. Feldwinn, S. Lee, R. Droopad, and A.C. Kummel “Interfacial Atomic Bonding Structure of Oxides on InA(001)-(4x2) Surface,” J. of Electrochem. Society 157, (12): H1148-H1152 (2011)
  3. J. Shen, E.A. Chagarov, D.L. Feldwinn, W. Melitz, N.M. Santagata, A.C. Kummel, R. Droopad, and M. Passlack “Scanning Tunneling Microscopy/Spectroscopy Study of Atomic and Electronic Structures of In2O on InAs and In0.53Ga0.47As(0 0 1)-(4x2) Surfaces,” J. Chem. Phys. 133: 164704 (2010)
  4. J. Shen, J.B. Clemens, D.L. Feldwinn, W. Melitz, T. Song, E.A. Chagarov, and A.C. Kummel “Strutural and Electronic Properties of Group III Rich In0.53Ga0.47As(001),”Surface Science 604: 1757-1766 (2010)
  5. J. Shen, W. Melitz, D.L. Feldwinn, S. Lee, R. Droopad, and A.C. Kummel “Binding Geometries at the In2O and SiO/III-V Semiconductor Interface,”ECS Transactions. 33, (3): 105-116 (2010)