Center for Childhood Creativity Staff
Director, Center for Childhood Creativity
Elizabeth comes with more than 15 years of experience in formal education, working as a teacher, principal, and executive director in small urban schools focused on personalization, equity, and progressive education. She holds a B.A. from Brown University, teaching and administrative credentials from Mills College, and a Doctorate in educational leadership from Mills College. Her doctoral research, drawing heavily from psychological constructs (such as learning mindset, self-efficacy, and stereotype threat) focuses on the role of “care” in teachers’ relationships with Latino male students entering high school substantially behind in academic skills.
Helen Hadani, Ph.D.
As Head of Research for the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC), Helen authors original research on creative thinking and child development, including the CCC’s white papers Shared Discoveries and Inspiring a Generation to Create. She launched and manages CCC’s on-site research lab at the Bay Area Discovery Museum and partners with U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, and Mills College to conduct empirical research on cognitive, social, and emotional development, with a focus on creative thinking and problem solving. She brings more than 15 years of experience in research and education settings, including years in the technology and toy industries conducting research with parents and children to develop innovative products at Hasbro, Apple, Leapfrog, and LEGO. Helen received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Stanford University and has taught at U.C. Davis and San Francisco State University. She is the co-author of a chapter on research and museum partnerships in the book Relating Research and Practice: Cognitive Development in Museum Settings.
In her role at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Lisa fosters robust partnerships with out-of-school time providers to contribute to the creative development of children, particularly in under-resourced communities. Previously, Lisa served as Deputy Director at Maker Ed, developing partnerships with educators, organizations, and researchers to build and support a growing network committed to broadening participation in making as a form of creative learning. Prior to Maker Ed, Lisa worked at Twin Cities Public Television developing educational content that was presented on television, in person, in print, and on the web as part of the Emmy-Award winning series, SciGirls and DragonflyTV: Nano. Lisa also spent several years working at the Museum of Science, Boston and the Da Vinci Science Center in PA. As the manager of several national outreach programs, she has conducted extensive professional development workshops in gender equity and inquiry-based approaches to STEM. Lisa received both a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in theater from Lehigh University before earning her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Florida.
Sara Norris brings 18 years of experience as a Pre-K and early elementary school teacher in both private and public school settings. Committed to providing innovative educational experiences to our youngest scholars, she brings expertise in creating and facilitating child-centered learning environments and professional development for teachers that are grounded in the constructivist philosophy. Her current work focuses on developing high-quality curriculum at the intersection of creative thinking and STEM education. Previously she was a master teacher, researcher, curriculum designer, and mentor for teaching credential and master’s candidates. Sara has twice been recognized as an outstanding teacher by the state of California, and is currently a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, our nation’s highest honor for K-12 teachers. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education and a multiple subject teaching credential with special preparation for teaching early childhood: preschool-3, both from the Mills College School of Education.
Babe has been working in cultural institutions for more than five years. Her experiences facilitating museum and out-of-school programming have demonstrated to her how valuable opportunities for inquiry, imagination, and self-expression can be for young learners. She currently advocates for such creative learning opportunities for all children as the Research and Impact Associate at the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC). In this role, Babe contributes to research and advisory partnerships and manages the evaluation of the world’s first early childhood Fab Lab. She also helps to ensure that the CCC’s research base drives program development at the museum, and that museum staff are able to articulate and demonstrate the impact these programs are having on children and adults. Babe serves on the Board of the Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals as a member of the Events Committee. She holds a B.A. from Yale College and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.