Kylie Peppler

Professor of Informatics & Education
Director of The Creativity Labs
Co-Director of The Connected Learning Lab
University of California, Irvine

An artist by training, Dr. Peppler is a Professor of Informatics and Professor of Education at University of California, Irvine, where she engages in research that focuses on the design of new technologies to support learning and participation within traditionally minoritized populations, particularly at the intersection of the arts and STEM learning ecosystems.

Dr. Peppler earned an NSF early CAREER award for her work on how e-textiles and other computational construction kits popularized through the Maker movement can deepen learning and broaden participation across a range of STEM fields. Dr. Peppler's studies have been published in leading journals in the fields of education, technology and the arts, including Science Education; Computers & Human Behavior; Mind, Culture & Activity; British Journal of Educational Technology; Journal of Science and Educational Technology; Studies in Arts Education; Review of Research in Education; Teachers College Record; and Learning, Media & Technology, among many others. Additionally, Dr. Peppler is the author or editor of over 10 books published by a range of outlets, including MIT Press, Peter Lang, Routledge, SAGE Publications, and Teachers College Press.

Through this work, Dr. Peppler has received several awards, including the Mira Tech Educator of the Year, Indiana Governor's Award for Tomorrow's Leaders, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Pre-College Engineering Education Division Best Paper Award, One of 20 nominated for SIGCSE Top Ten Papers of All Time Award, Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from Indiana University, and Outstanding Alumni Early Career Award from Psychological and Brain Studies at Indiana University. Her work has been consistently supported by the National Science Foundation as well as a range of foundations, federal and industry partners, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation,, Wellcome Trust, US Department of Education, Boeing, Indiana Department of Education, New York Community Trust, Chicago Community Trust, Best Buy, Fossil Foundation, GAP Inc., National Geographic, as well as the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design.

Dr. Peppler sits on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Computer Science Education and has recently served as Guest Editor for the British Journal of Educational Technology and Sustainability. Dr. Peppler was also the lead editor of the two-volume SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning.

Media Features


Women's History Month

Watchworthy Wednesday
Kylie Peppler is one of 10 Women Championing Connected Learning, honored during Women's History Month by Digital Media + Learning. Follow the link to DML Central to see her video and those of her distinguished colleagues!


UCI School of Education: Interview with Informatics Professor Kylie Peppler
Kylie Peppler sits down with Dean Richard Arum to share her views on connected learning, the intersection of new technology and the arts, and maker culture.


Dr. Peppler shares the latest research findings regularly, with over 100 refereed talks at conferences, such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), Connected Learning Summit (CLS), and others, in addition to over 130 invited talks around the world. Dr. Peppler has given over 15 keynote presentations--including those at the NSF CyberLearning Synthesis and Envisioning Meeting, American Library Association, FabLearn Conference, Make:Education Forum, Harvard/MIT Learning and the Brain Conference, among others--and has been invited to give presentations at several distinguished national meetings, such as speaking at the Consortium for Schools Networking (CoSN), Smithsonian, White House Champions for Computer Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, National Academies and was the Distinguished Lecturer at the National Science Foundation on her work on new collaborative design technologies.

Highlighted Books

Encyclopedia-OOSL Makeology, Volume 1 Makeology, Volume 2 Textile Messages New Creativity Paradigms


Gaming the System Script Changers Short Circuits Soft Circuits The Computer Clubhouse

Research Interests

Arts Education Computation Computer Science Ed Creativity Design DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Textiles Gaming Informal Learning Interest-Driven Learning Maker Culture New Media Scratch Programming Systems Thinking Wearable Computing Future of Work

For a sortable list of work related to my research interests, please see the publications section of this website.


  • 2007–2008: Postdoctoral Research Associate — University of California, Irvine
    • Uncovering Literacies, Disrupting Stereotypes: Media Arts Practices of Youth with (Dis)Abilities
    • Supervisor: Mark Warschauer
  • 2007: Ph.D. in Education — University of California, Los Angeles
    • Dissertation: Creative Bytes: Literacy and Learning in the Media Arts Practices of Urban Youth
    • Committee: James Catterall, Yasmin Kafai, Ernest Morrell, and C.E.B. Reas
  • 2002: B.A. — Indiana University, Bloomington
    • Psychology, French, and Studio Art

Academic Appointments

2021 - now

Professor: Informatics and Education

University of California, Irvine

2018 - 2021

Associate Professor: Informatics and Education

University of California, Irvine

2015 - 2018

Associate Professor: Learning Sciences

Indiana University, Bloomington

2008 - 2015

Assistant Professor: Learning Sciences

Indiana University, Bloomington


UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California, Irvine

2002 - 2007

Graduate Student Researcher


Highlighted Projects from the Creativity Labs

Current and prior support from:




For a full list of projects, please visit the Creativity Labs website.

Making Connections to Achieve for the Million Girl Moonshot

Developing scalable strategies to make stronger connections between girls' STEM experiences.

Connected Arts Learning

Studying the impacts of community arts programs over the lifecourse and expanding the purpose and possibilities for the arts.

Future of Work with AI and XR

Designing XR environments and learning technologies to prepare the future workforce.

Re-Crafting STEM

Concretizing STEM learning through traditional fiber crafts.

Maker Tools and Materials

Examining the social construction of electronic tools and materials to broaden participation and deepen learning.

Community Arts and STEAM Partnerships

Community arts and STEAM learning partnerships to transform learning in out-of-school contexts.


Filter publications by research type:

    •  SHOW ALL
    •  Suggested Readings
    •  E-Textiles & Maker Culture
    •  Scratch & Computational Media
    •  Games & Social Media
    •  Interest-Driven Learning
    •  Arts & Creativity
    •  Future of Work
    •  Systems Thinking



















Honors & Awards

Honors and Awards

2023 One of 54 teams selected to advance in the NSF-sponsored VITAL Prize Challenge Semi-Final Round
2023 One of 100 teams selected to advance in the NSF-sponsored VITAL Prize Challenge Discovery Round
2023 The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2023’s “Honorable Mention Award” for being among the top 5% of papers for the paper “LearnIoTVR: An End-to-end Virtual Reality Environment Providing Authentic Learning Experiences for Internet of Things”.
2022 NSF STEM for ALL Video Showcase award for Using Narratives to Support Empathy and Engineering, Presenters’ Choice and Facilitator’s Choice, May 10-17, Access, inclusion and Equity.
2021 ASEE Pre-College Engineering Education (PCEE) Division's Best Paper Award for “Observing empathy in informal engineering activities with girls ages 7-14” (RTP, Diversity).
2019 One of 20 nominated for SIGCSE Top Ten Papers of All Time Award for Maloney, J., Peppler, K., Kafai, Y. B., Resnick, M. & Rusk, N. (2008). Programming by Choice: Urban Youth Learning Programming with Scratch. Published in the proceedings by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, Portland, OR.
2019 Certificate for Engaged Instruction, UCI Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation.
2018 NSF STEM for ALL Video Showcase award for The Biosim Project: BeeSim, May 14-21, Transforming the Educational Landscape.
2017 One of 10 Women Championing Connected Learning, honored during Women's History Month by Digital Media + Learning.
2017 Outstanding Alumni Early Career Award, Psychological and Brain Studies, Indiana University.
2017 University of Otago Research Fellow.
2017 Early Career Alumni Award from Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
2016 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award Recipient, the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
2016 MIRA Tech Educator of the Year, (April 23, 2016) from TechPoint. Honored as one of Indiana’s best educators for technology excellence and innovation.
2016 is Finalist in the Best of CES 2016 (
2016 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App wins Purdue University’s Engineering Gift Guide Selection.
2016 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App wins Balefire Labs Top Selection.
2016 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App wins Best Pick App.
2015 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App wins “Best of Show” in Serious Games Competition in 2015.
2015 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App selected as Serious Play Awards Gold Medal Winner
2015 Water Bears 3D Puzzle App Children’s Technology Review Editors Choice for Excellence in Design
2014 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from Indiana University. The awards, presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, honor tenure-track faculty who have begun to develop nationally recognized research or scholarship programs and devoted productive time to teaching and service, but who have not yet achieved tenure.
2012 “Be Great!” Award Recipient from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington in recognition for volunteer work technology lab work.
2011 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Highest Ranked Paper Submission Award in the Peace Education Special Interest Group (SIG).
2011 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Best Emerging Media Paper in the Media, Culture & Curriculum (MCC) Special Interest Group (SIG).
2011 Video Showcase: Interactive Bee Game featured in, Technology/Wearables.
2011 Spotlight in Make Magazine: BeeSim Game Using LilyPad and XBee.
2009 Indiana Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders. Top Award given to outstanding young leaders in the state of Indiana that have shown exemplary leadership under the age of 30.
2008 Honorable Mention in Prixars Electronica in Community Art for work on the Scratch Online Community. One of the highest international awards in the digital arts community.
2008 Group Volunteer of the Year at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington for outstanding service to the organization.
2008 Top Paper at the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Conference.
2007 UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007-2008).
2006 Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for Research Related to Education (2006-2007).

Courses Taught

  • Arts, Making and Engineering (EDUC 218/IN4MATX 295), University of California, Irvine
  • Ubiquitous Computing (IN4MATIX 148), University of California, Irvine
  • Re-Crafting Soft Technologies (ICS 190), University of California, Irvine
  • Learning, Development, and Culture (EDUC 225), University of California, Irvine
  • Graduate Topical Seminar: Constructionism (ED P631), Indiana University
  • Graduate Topical Seminar: Designs for Change (ED P674/Formerly P650), Indiana University
  • Graduate Topical Seminar: Learning in New Media (ED P574), Indiana University
  • Online Graduate Topical Seminar: Learning in New Media (ED P574), Indiana University
  • Apprenticeship in the Learning Sciences (ED P573), Indiana University
  • Educational Psychology for All Grades (ED P254), Indiana University
  • Culture, Technology, and Human Development (ED 194B), UCLA
  • Culture, Communications, and Human Development (ED 194C), UCLA
  • Quantitative Statistics (PSYCH P211), Indiana University
  • Neural Bases of Human Behavior (PSYCH E105), Indiana University
  • Introductory Psychology (PSYCH P101), Indiana University

Contact Information

Kylie Peppler, Ph.D.
Office Address

University of California, Irvine
DBH 5206
Irvine, CA 92697-3440