International Conference: The Integration of Science Centres with Natural History Museums for Imparting Informal Education

Monae Verbeke Expanding Where and When People Learn Over Their Lifetime

The 1st Integration of Science Centres with Natural History Museums for Imparting Informal Education International Conference was held October 4-6, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This 2.5 day working meeting convened a small group of high level informal education practitioners and ministerial-level policy makers from across South and Southeast Asia and the United States to explore the potential of integrating key assets and affordances of science centres and natural history museums into a new model for supporting the public’s science education through the use of informal/free-choice learning assets in the 21st century. A total of 40 participants, 4 individuals per country, from the following ten countries: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the United States …

Los Mochis Museum Impact Study

Collaborative Communications Development Team General Public, Mexico, Museums, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime

The Los Mochis Museum Impact Study is improving how we understand lifelong learning by offering a unique opportunity to study the influence that the opening of the first interactive museum in Sinaloa, Mexicohas on the youth of that community. Jointly funded by 7 Colores, the lead design company, and the State of Sinola, the project is using both quantitative and qualitative methods to better understand the role the new museum plays in supporting changes in local residents’ overall commitment to and interest in learning generally and interest in and knowledge of science in particular. Insights from similar international studies conducted primarily in other countries suggest that institutions such as Trapiche do significantly influence public interest and engagement with science. However, …

The Cascades STEM Lab School Cooperative: A K-12 & University Partnership

Collaborative Communications Development Team Schools, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime

The Cascades STEM Lab School Cooperative Project is helping to improve how we understand lifelong learning by examining the process of implementing a STEM-district wide school initiative within a rural school district. Through a partnership between a K-12 rural school district and university researchers, school practitioners were supported in converting their K-12 curriculum to an integrated STEM-focused model. During the launch year of the initiative, the research team examined the experiences of the stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, community members) within this district-wide school change process. These data will inform a developing model of rural STEM education.

iSwoop: Research on Adult Interests in National Parks

Collaborative Communications Development Team Adults, Parks, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, United States

iSwoop (Interpreters and Scientists Working in Our Parks) is helping to improving how we understand lifelong learning by understanding the impact that staff-facilitated experiences in national parks have on adult interest pathways. In 2016, National Park Service (NPS) visitation rates broke records for the third year, exceeding 331 million visitors. Given these visitation rates, the NPS is easily one of the most visited free-choice science learning institutions in the U.S., yet, little is known about the mechanisms by which park ranger-visitor interactions can support and sustain visitor interest and engagement related to science. With support from the National Science Foundation the Institute is conducting research in order to help answer these questions.

On-the-Spot Assessment to Improve Scientist Engagement with the Public

Collaborative Communications Development Team General Public, Museums, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, United States

The On-the-Spot Assessment to Improve Scientist Engagement with the Public project will help us understand how people learn over their lifetime, by developing a model for audience assessment that STEM professionals can use during the course of their public engagement efforts. What is termed on-the-spot assessment will allow scientists to monitor audience understanding and use this information to make immediate improvements to their activity (for example, revising how they scaffold and facilitate a hands-on exploration carried out at a museum). The project is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

North American Environmental Educators Annual Conference PD Intervention

Collaborative Communications Development Team Adults, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, United States

The North American Environmental Educators (NAAEE) Annual Conference Intervention effort is designed to explore how to change and expand the professional learning opportunities for of the 1,000s of people who annually attend this meeting.  The basic structure of NAAEE’s annual conference, like so many other major conferences around the world, has only slightly changed in the more than 50 years of its existence. The Institute is looking for creative ways that large meetings like NAAEE’s can include a greater number of more individualized and diversified experiences to in order to insure that the personal and unique professional learning needs of all kinds of attendees are met.

Luxembourg Science Center Impact Study

Collaborative Communications Development Team Luxembourg, Science Centers, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, Youth

The Luxembourg Science Center Impact Study is improving how we understand lifelong learning by offering a unique opportunity to study the influence that the opening of the first science center in a country has on youth. This work will help us better understand if and to what extent a youth’s interaction with science center experiences (watching a science demonstration, interacting with exhibits, participating in an in-depth program) affects their interest in STEM subjects, enrollment in STEM-related courses, STEM-related identity and self-efficacy, and awareness of and interest in pursuing STEM careers. This study focuses on youth ages 12-15.

My Sky Tonight

Collaborative Communications Development Team Family Groups, Informal Institutions, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, United States, Young Children

The My Sky Tonight project is helping to improve how we understand lifelong learning by exploring how very young children and their families engage with astronomy. This project lead by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is part of a field-wide effort to increase the capacity of informal science education institutions to effectively engage their youngest visitors (ages 3 – 5) and their families in astronomy. The project is a research and practice partnership funded by the National Science Foundation between the ASP; Institute for Learning Innovation, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Penn State; the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, and San …

Lineages

Collaborative Communications Development Team Family Groups, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime

The Lineages project is helping to improve how we understand lifelong learning through a comprehensive educational media and outreach initiative that will engage individuals and families in learning about deep time and evolution, helping audiences come to newfound understandings of the connections between the past, present, and future of life on Earth. This National Science Foundation funded project is a partnership between Twin Cities PBS, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Schell Games, the Institute for Learning Innovation and Rockman et al. The Institute will conduct a study that investigates how intergenerational co-play with physical artifacts compared to virtual artifacts influences STEM learning and engagement. The findings will lead to critical strategic impacts for the field, building knowledge …

Reconceptualizing STEM+C Literacy

Collaborative Communications Development Team General Public, Informal Institutions, Understanding How People Learn Over Their Lifetime, United States

  The Reconceptualizing STEM+C Literacy project is helping to improve understanding of how people learn over their lifespan by reconceptualizing how to define and measure STEM+C (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, including Computing) literacy. We are also expanding opportunities for the public to expand their literacy by creating an innovative, digital STEM+C literacy tool. Even though supporting and sustaining the development of STEM+C literacy is the primary goal of all formal and informal STEM+C education institutions, what it means to be literate in these fields has long been in question due to the fact that historical measures have had at best superficial applicability to an individual’s everyday life or individual interests. With support from the National Science Foundation the Institute …