Rachel Scherr, Assistant Professor

Rachel Scherr


Location: UW2-332
Phone: 425-352-5130
Email: rescherr@uw.edu

CV: Rachel Scherr CV


Dr. Scherr earned her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Washington in 2001, taught at the Evergreen State College, was a postdoctoral fellow and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and most recently a Senior Research Scientist at Seattle Pacific University. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, cited for foundational research into energy learning and representations, application of video analysis methods to study physics classrooms, and physics education research community leadership.


Dr. Scherr conducts research to identify the seeds of sophisticated understanding in learners’ ideas, and investigates physics disciplinary culture and practices. Her research on the teaching and learning of energy has led to new teaching tools, new research methodologies, and new theoretical perspectives on physics learning. Her research on diversity and equity in physics learning environments helps change the culture of physics to better support women and people of color in physics. Dr. Scherr has served as thesis advisor for doctoral students at the University of Maryland, the University of Maine, and Seattle Pacific University, all in physics education research.


University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Ph.D., Physics|
M.S., Physics

Reed College, Portland, OR
B.A., Physics

Teaching Interests

  • Physics
  • Physics Education