William Thornburgh, Ph.D.

William Thornburgh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


  • BS Chemistry, Butler University
  • MS Science Education, Montana State University
  • Ph.D. Science Education, University of Louisville

Research/Academic Interests

  • Teacher professional development with the Next Generation Science Standards
  • The role of informal science education on students’ attitudes, learning, and thinking
  • Pre-service teachers’ science content knowledge and pedagogical preferences


Dr. Thornburgh's work can be found in several journals including:
  • Thornburgh, W. and Brown, S. (2023). Measuring Pre-Service Elementary Teachers’ Changes in Pedagogical Orientation Towards Science Teaching. The Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning
  • Nelson, G. & Thornburgh, W. (2022). It’s a Puzzle: Engaging Students in Plate Tectonics. The Hoosier Science Teacher, 45(1).
  • Thornburgh, W., McFadden, J. & Robinson, B. (2021). 5E and the PEs. Science and Children, 59(1).
  • Thornburgh, W., McFadden, J. & Robinson, B. (2020). The 6th E: Incorporating engineering into a 5E learning cycle on matter. Science and Children, 57(6).
  • Tinnell, T., Tretter, T., Thornburgh, W. & Ralston, P. (2019). Successful interdisciplinary collaboration: Supporting science teachers with a systematic, ongoing, intentional collaboration between university engineering and science teacher education faculty. Journal of Science Teacher Education. DOI: 10.1080/1046560X.2019.1593086
  • Thornburgh, W. & Tretter, T. (2017). Modeling the eclipse. The Science Teacher, 84(3).
  • Thornburgh, W. and Tretter, T. (2016). Explaining Patterns in Our Solar System and The Role of Gravity in Space Science. Science Scope, 41(4).
  • Tretter, T., Thornburgh, W. & Duckwall, M. (2016). Seeing The Solar System Through Two Perspectives. Science and Children, 53(5).
  • Thornburgh, W., Tretter, T. & Duckwall, M. (2015). Seeing The Solar System Through Two Perspectives. Science and Children, 53(4).

Associations/Affiliations/Work History

  • Association of Science Teacher Educators (ASTE)
  • Mid-Atlantic Association of Science Teacher Educators (MA-ASTE)
  • National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)
  • American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA)
  • Kentucky Science Teachers Association (KSTA)
  • School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA)
  • Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA)


  • Invited panelist at the International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education international conference
  • EKU Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership mini-grant awardee
  • Selected for the NSELA Leadership Spotlight
  • Invited speaker at the Universitas Negeri Semarang
  • Invited speaker at the Indonesia University of Education
  • Invited speaker at the Universitas Pendidkian Indonesia