Susan Yoon is pursuing several lines of research including investigating curricular applications and learning outcomes of using social network graphs in decision making about socio-scientific issues; understanding the dynamics of copying mechanisms (memetic processes) in learning environments; applying complex systems processes in teacher professional development programs; and understanding affordances and constraints to access and retention of K–12 and students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields of study.
Yoon is the principal investigator of two large-scale National Science Foundation (NSF) projects aimed at increasing participation in the STEM education and career pipeline for underserved youth in the Philadelphia region. The first is an out-of-school time project for youth in grades 4–8: SPARK—Igniting Interest and Achievement in STEM Through Engineering Design, with partners at the Philadelphia Zoo and Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (2006–2010). The second is an in-school project for grade 9 and 10 students and teachers, Nanotechnology and Bioengineering in Philadelphia Public Schools, under the NSF’s ITEST Program. This project is a partnership between Penn’s Nano/Bio Interface Center and the School District of Philadelphia (2008–2011). She is also co-PI on two other NSF-funded projects. The first is with the Franklin Institute Science Museum on an informal science education project called ARIEL—Augmented Reality for Interpretive and Experiential Learning (2008–2012). The second is with MIT on a DR K–12 project called BioGraph: Graphical Programming for Constructing Complex Systems Understanding in Biology (2010–2014).
Yoon received the 2009 Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies from Division C of the American Educational Research Association. She currently sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Learning Sciences as co-strand editor of the complex systems strand.