Rebecca Cox

Rebecca Cox

Rebecca Cox is an associate professor at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she supervises student teachers, teaches elementary science and secondary methods courses, and actively participates in local science fairs. She has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a major in science education from Indiana University. She is a former biology, chemistry, and middle school science teacher with a passion to share the scientific stories, adventures, and multiple pathways behind scientific discoveries (in other words, the wild side of science). Professor Cox also has seen tremendous success introducing girls to physics in the 6th grade classroom through projects such as constructing marshmallow catapults and roller coasters!

Areas of Expertise

  • Secondary education
  • Classroom management
  • Questioning strategies

Courses Taught

  • EDUC 141: Schooling in American Society
  • EDUC 260: Teaching Science
  • EDUC 571: Teaching Math and Science
  • EDUC 372/572: Secondary Curriculum and Instruction
  • EDUC 470/670: Student Teaching in the Secondary School


  • M.S. (science education); Ph.D., (curriculum and instruction), Indiana University
  • B.A., Earlham College

Publications & Articles

  • Cox, R. Exchanging the myth of the step-by-step method for a more authentic description of inquiry in scientific practice In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The Nature of Science in Science Education: Rationales and Strategies (Rev. ed.). Great Britain: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Forthcoming in 2018.


Collaborations & Partnerships

Science Museum of Western Virginia

  • Hollins teacher candidates volunteer with the Science Museum of Western Virginiaas museum docents and assist with the Wind Energy Exposition, Science Camp-ins, Science In-museum and Outreach programs, and Summer Camps.

Western Virginia Water Authority

  • The Western Virginia Water Authority serves as a community partner, offering our Hollins teacher candidates educational outreach programs on “The Water Cycle” and “Watershed.” Both of the activities fit under the science standards of learning strand: Earth’s Resources.

Roanoke County Public Schools

  • The other activity I cherish is the annual opportunity to serve as science fair judges for the Roanoke County Science Fair competition. All Hollins students in my “methods of teaching science” class participate as judges. Hollins students are usually assigned as the middle school judges where 1-2 Hollins students are grouped with scientists in the community.

Roanoke City Public Schools Teacher Professional Development

  • Project WILD Teacher Workshop for the Virginia Association of Science Teacher’s (VAST) Professional Development Day. Approximately 14 teachers from across the state spent six hours attending environmental education activities and discussing ideas for involving students in environmental education.

Roanoke City Public School’s 21st Century Scholars Program

  • The 21st century Scholars Program offers after school tutoring for at-risk students. The program serves just about every elementary, middle, and high school in Roanoke City. Teacher candidates participate in volunteer opportunities during their education courses transferring theory into practice.
  • Transportation Museum, Roanoke, VA
  • Project Learning Tree
  • Project Web Certifications
  • Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow


  • Alternative Methods to the Scientific Method
  • “The Inquiry Wheel”
  • Conceptions of Scientific Inquiry
  • The Private Side of Science