Two overarching questions direct Dr. Traver’s career: What is the nature of teaching? What is the teaching of nature?
The majority of Dr. Traver’s fourteen years at WPI deals with the development and administration of education programs that involve science and engineering content and related teaching and training of teachers. Currently he focuses on project-based undergraduate engineering education with emphasis on related instruction and on project design and delivery for sustainable development. These include the establishment of the Asuncion (Paraguay) Project Center, a founding and continuing member of the GPS program, Teaching Methods in Mathematics and Science, Nature Writers, Introduction to Environmental Studies, ID2050 (Bar Harbor, Venice, Worcester, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and on-campus) and on-site adviser in Paraguay and Worcester.
He advises the award winning student club, Global Humanitarian Alliance, and the very new Worcester Poverty Club. He has supervised, ad hoc, two student teams in Paraguay to raise awareness of dengue fever and one student team in Ecuador, Engineers without Borders, to develop a community water system. Each fall he assumes responsibility for an Insights Advisory group. He secured nearly 700,000 dollars in NSF grants to provide scholarships for WPI students who seek to teach STEM in disadvantaged school districts.
He also coaches university faculty teams, both on and off-campus, for WPI’s acclaimed Project-Based Learning Institute and in that Institute offers a concurrent workshop on writing and undergraduate project based learning.
His most recent published articles focus on classroom instruction and project assessment, one of which brought invitations from three publishers to submit a book proposal and another that led to an invitation to serve as a key-note speaker for a regional southern education foundation. Before his full-time faculty appointment at WPI, Dr. Traver served for eight years as principal of the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI, where, among other curricular achievements, he established a science and technical writing course.
In Dr. Traver’s twenty-seven years prior to WPI, he oversaw the Harvard-Radcliffe Undergraduate Teacher Education Program and taught as Lecturer on Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, developed science curriculum standards and professional development institutes for the Boston Public Schools, served with the MA Department of Education during its statewide mathematics and science initiative and MCAS rollout, taught mathematics to low and middle ability students in Worcester’s Burncoat High School, directed the teacher education program at Brandeis and taught related elementary and secondary school classes, directed the freshmen Plant Biology Program at Purdue University, taught biology and environmental science at a private high school in Pennsylvania, and consulted with more than forty school districts in MA and with various educational organizations in CT, IA, MT, NH, NJ, NM and OH in the areas of standards-based curricula, science instruction, generative ideas and guiding questions, MCAS, data-driven classrooms, and project–based learning.
He will continue to develop the project, research, and educational capacity of the Asuncion Project Center through collaborations with the WPI Spanish faculty and with WPI’s emerging Overseas Project Center Sustainability Initiative.