In October 2015, Scott Pattison, Monae Verbeke, and the Institute team launched the NSF-funded Interpreters and Scientists Working On Our Parks (ISWOOP) project, in partnership with TERC and Winston-Salem State University. Building on a prior pathways project, the team is developing a suite of professional development experiences and resources to connect national park interpreters and scientists and engage visitors in the current scientific research within the parks. As part of the project, the Institute is leading two research studies to understand how park interpreters spark visitor interests in these topics and how these interests extend over time, months after the initial park experiences. For more information about the project, check out the informalscience.org website (http://www.informalscience.org/collaborative-research-interpreters-and-scientists-working-our-parks-iswoop) and look for us at the CAISE PI meeting in February.
In September 2015, Scott Pattison and the Institute team launched the NSF-funded Head Start on Engineering project, in partnership with Mt. Hood Community College Head Start, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of Notre Dame. The project will explore how preschool children develop the foundations of engineering-related interest in early childhood through interactions with their parents and caregivers in everyday settings. For more information, check out the informalscience.org website (http://www.informalscience.org/head-start-engineering-supporting-engineering-interest-development-early-childhood) and look for us at the CAISE PI meeting in February