Irene Porro, Ph.D.Director

Dr. Porro is the Director of the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University.


A professional scientist with a deep commitment to social justice, in her work Dr. Porro combines research skills in physics and astrophysics with an interdisciplinary approach to education. Over the years Dr. Porro developed a deep understanding of the issues in formal science education and strong expertise in informal science education. She also developed important collaborations with educators and scientists at local and national universities, science centers and out-of-school time organizations. For the past fifteen years she has had regular opportunities to teach at the undergraduate level for teacher professional development programs and courses for non-science majors.


A native of Torino, Italy, Dr. Porro received her Ph.D. in Space Science and Technology from the University of Padova, Italy. Before entering the field of education she was a researcher in astrophysics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, in Heidelberg, Germany. She then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she became the Director of the Education and Outreach Group of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. She is an alumna of the International Space University, an international education program that specializes in providing graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community.


Dr. Porro strongly supports the integration of artistic and science learning experiences, where both the arts and the sciences are fully respected and valued. To that end, she has been involved with science-theater initiatives both at the professional level and with science-theater performances written and performed by high school age youth. More recently she has been working on projects that use movement and dance to lead learners to the understanding of fundamental concepts in science and geometry.

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