Measuring the Public Well-Being & Economic Value of Banco de México’s Museums & Programs

Posted May 6, 2024

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit Banco de México’s museums and participate in its public programs. Unquestionably, all these people perceive that they derive real value from these experiences, otherwise they would not participate. However, currently no one has been able to accurately determine what the value of these experiences are, either to… (Read more)

In Search of Museum Audience Outcome Measures

Posted Feb 29, 2024

This multi-institution, international research study builds on previous work by both the ongoing Museum Futures project and work of the ILI. The goal of this project is to, over the next 2 years, and in collaboration with 44 diverse museums from around the world, conduct research that will inform the development of a set of… (Read more)

RUI:OSIB: The Effects of High Disease Risk

Posted Feb 13, 2024

As part of a research initiative, ILI will collaborate with Chapman University to evaluate a broader impacts program in which five undergraduate research assistants will each be paired with one local high school student. The program hopes to provide a student, who may not otherwise have a similar opportunity, the experience of working in a… (Read more)

Developing a Sustainable System for Defining and Measuring Museum Success

Posted Feb 13, 2024

In this IMLS grant, ILI is assisting the Computer History Museum (CHM) is offering professional learning to enable CHM to better design museum programs and improve outcomes by developing a robust institution-wide evaluation framework that integrates impact, assessment, and learning strategies. The goal is to develop a museum-wide evaluation rubric, metrics, and dashboard that measure… (Read more)

IUSE: ThermoVR

Posted Feb 13, 2024

ILI is collaborating with the Field Day Lab by evaluating the development of and implementation of a new online and virtual reality (VR) laboratory that teaches fundamental thermodynamic properties and relationships. We are utilizing a co-design approach with a cohort of thermodynamics instructors to ensure the virtual laboratory is feasible and effective across diverse undergraduate… (Read more)


Posted Feb 13, 2024

In partnership with Chapman University, ILI is assisting in the evaluation of a project-based learning course focused purely on ECOSTRESS. Every week, each student is required to identify an ECOSTRESS-related event that recently occurred, download ECOSTRESS data, create a map visualizing the event and write a media-friendly summary. These are delivered on a weekly basis… (Read more)

Growing capacity: Building an Evaluation Framework

Posted Feb 13, 2024

Growing capacity: Building an Evaluation Framework is a two-year initiative that will provide Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden staff with the knowledge, skills, and tools to build evaluation capacity. As a botanical garden that serves a diverse and robust multiethnic community, Fairchild believes they have a responsibility to continuously improve how they build positive environmental attitudes… (Read more)

Wisconsin Polar Science VR

Posted Feb 13, 2024

This NSF AISL project provides a new means to engage with the public, and in particular, the rural and Latinx communities, to better understand polar research through a collection of immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences collectively known as Expedition VRctica. Reflecting a national trend, nearly 1 in 5 students attending rural schools are Latinx. Rural… (Read more)

Improving Interdisciplinary Collaboration through the Model of Community-based Conservation Marketing

Posted Feb 13, 2024

The Florida Museum of Natural History and PCI collaborated with six zoos, natural history museums, and botanical gardens to develop a professional development program to increase museum staff’s capacity to communicate effectively to the public about conservation and environmental issues. Conservation, marketing, and education staff members participated in quarterly workshops designed to promote sustained participant… (Read more)

The Gardens of Golden Gate Park

Posted Feb 6, 2024

Audience Research for an Interpretive Master Plan Museums for America/Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS)   The Gardens of Golden Gate Park (GGGP), a new entity in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, including San Francisco Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the Japanese Tea Garden, received Museums for America/IMLS (Institute for Museum &… (Read more)

Measuring the Public Value of History Museums

Posted Dec 18, 2023

This multi-institution research study builds on previous work by the Institute both in Finland and the U.S. Designed to assess and communicate the value of museum experiences to the decision-makers and policymakers who support and fund museums, this research uses an approach that directly speaks to how decision-makers themselves define value. The research is also… (Read more)

Acknowledging and Shifting the Dynamics of Power: Building Equitable Partnerships Among Informal STEM Learning Practitioners, Researchers, & Communities

Posted Dec 14, 2023

In partnership with Pueblo Collab LLC., a community-centered consulting organization, this project will enhance understanding of how ISL (Informal STEM Learning) practitioners and researchers can and should form equitable partnerships in service of supporting lifelong STEM learning in informal learning environments. We will also examine how community intersects with partnerships and the different levels or… (Read more)

Sustaining STEM: Co-designing Culturally Sustaining STEM Learning Ecosystems in Rural Communities

Posted Jan 23, 2023

Co-designing Culturally Sustaining STEM Learning Ecosystems in Rural Communities (Sustaining STEM) is an NSF-funded project that will advance the informal STEM learning field’s knowledge with a transformational approach to engaging youth, families and community partners that strengthens STEM ecosystems in rural communities. While informal STEM institutions are well suited to support family STEM learning, the… (Read more)

Intersections in Assessment Conference: Exploring Informal Science learning Assessment Methods to Improve Undergraduate STEM Education

Posted Nov 29, 2022

This NSF IUSE-funded project (NSF 2106168) explored the potential of evaluation and learning assessment methods utilized in Free-choice (Informal) science learning (ISL) settings such as zoos, museums, and citizen science programs, to inform new approaches to Higher Education assessments.  Approaches to assessment in Higher Education (HE) Science classrooms are currently being reconsidered as assessment experts… (Read more)

Measuring the Public Value of Art Museums

Posted Nov 17, 2022

  The premise of this year-long research study was that if one had the ability to communicate the value of museum experiences to the decision-makers and policymakers who support and fund museums, using an approach that directly spoke to how they themselves define value, then it would be much easier to convince them to make… (Read more)

Measuring the Public Value of Finnish Museum Experiences

Posted Nov 17, 2022

The premise of this year-long research study was that if one had the ability to communicate the value of museum experiences to the public as well as the decision-makers and policymakers who support and fund museums, using an approach that directly spoke to how they themselves define value, then it would be much easier to… (Read more)

Envisaging a new Royal Ontario Museum Discovery Center

Posted Sep 30, 2022

The Royal Ontario Museum has a long (more than 50 years) of offering hands-on, discovery-based learning for families. With its new commitment to honoring reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations, and a renewed emphasis on Interdisciplinarity, they hope to reinvent this space for a 2024 re-opening. An ILI team, led by Judith Koke, was asked to… (Read more)

The ILI Global Book Club

Posted Jan 10, 2022

In the summer of 2022, we explored a new way to connect through ILI’s first-ever, global book club! Through a series of sessions, we met virtually with the author to explore the theories and ideas behind each book, reflecting on ways we may be able to apply them professionally or on a larger scale. Each… (Read more)

STAR Library Network (STAR Net) Phase 3: Enhancing STEAM Equity and Learning Opportunities in Libraries and Their Rural Communities

Posted Sep 22, 2020

The STEAM Equity Project is a National Science Foundation-funded collaboration between the Space Science Institute’s (SSI), the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) the American Library Association (ALA), the Institute for Learning Innovation, and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) that is helping to change who has access to learning over their lifetime. Building on STAR… (Read more)

Cultivating Science: Examining the Free-Choice Science Learning Networks of Urban Gardeners

Posted Sep 13, 2020

Free-choice and interest-driven activities are an important source of science learning for adults throughout their lifespans. The Cultivating Science project will advance understanding of how adults living in the same geographic area (Alameda County, CA), with the same science-related interest (gardening), interact with and draw on resources and spaces in their communities to support their… (Read more)

Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Posted Aug 31, 2020

ILI partnered with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (WMAA) to build an organizational culture that would support its new Vision: “We imagine a world in which everyone feels valued and represented.” With this in mind, the WMAA is committed to working with audiences to expand traditional definitions of what it means to be American and… (Read more)

Building Capacity for Inclusive Informal STEM Learning Opportunities for People with ASD

Posted Aug 31, 2020

Phases 1 & 2 The number of individuals and families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is increasing every year, and many museums, zoos, and other free-choice learning spaces are developing specialized programs for individuals with ASD individually and locally. A coordinated effort that builds on the learning from one organization to another is sorely… (Read more)

Learning Solutions: Support for Change Agents

Posted Aug 27, 2020

Across the United States, individuals, organizations and communities are wrestling with a wide array of challenging and “wicked” science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related problems. The good news is that thousands of individuals, organizations and communities are coming up with great ideas for how to confront these problems. Unfortunately, most will encounter significant roadblocks to… (Read more)

Science Museum Futures

Posted Aug 27, 2020

In collaboration with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN), and with support from the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Learning Innovation virtually brought together 4 dozen diverse (expertise and role, background, demographics, geography) thoughtful STEM learning professionals to collaboratively re-imagine the future of… (Read more)

Public Awareness of STEM and Advancing the Role of Women in STEM: An International Conference

Posted Aug 27, 2020

This National Science Foundation-funded international convening was organized by ILI and brought together a group of approximately 30 Science Technology & Society (STS) and Popularization of Science experts from 9 South Asian and Southeast Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand), plus the U.S., to discuss how best to… (Read more)

Rowan University Museum project

Posted Aug 27, 2020

The Institute for Learning Innovation assisted the international design firm Gallagher & Associates (G & A) with the design of a new, world-class museum and visitor center on the campus of Rowan University located in Glassboro, New Jersey. The Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum will focus on STEM education and include exhibition… (Read more)

STEM Ambassador Program

Posted Aug 24, 2020

The STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP) trains scientists to engage members of the public in innovative ways outside traditional venues.  Participating scientists (referred to as “STEM Ambassadors), link their research, personal interests, experiences, and desired social impacts to a particular “focal group,” or a group gathered around shared interests, hobbies, circumstances, or experience that resonate with… (Read more)

The California Cultural Collections Protection Survey Project

Posted Jul 8, 2020

The California State Library commissioned The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) along with our partners to oversee and implement a Comprehensive Cultural Heritage Survey to provide the state insight into the cultural assets held by California’s museums, libraries, archives, galleries, and private collections. The long-term goals of this project were to inform the creation of… (Read more)

Royal Ontario Museum School Programs Project

Posted Apr 28, 2020

We worked with the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada to re-think school programs – both online and onsite. What do teachers and students need and want? How does the museum support the province of Ontario and not just its immediate, surrounding community? As Canada endeavors to honor the work of reconciliation – what does… (Read more)

GrowingGreat Veggies & Fruits: A National STEM Education Program

Posted Mar 2, 2020

GrowingGreat Veggies & Fruits was a two-year (2019-2021) initiative designed to expand opportunities for children to taste, touch and learn about fruits and vegetables through hands-on garden- and nutrition-related science learning activities.  A Non-Profit Organization based out of Southern California, GrowingGreat supports garden-based learning and led this national garden, science, and nutrition education program in… (Read more)

Cascading Long Term Effects of Informal Science Education Experiences

Posted Jan 31, 2020

How can the field measure whether or not any particular educational experience sets off long-term, cascades of additional learning experiences? Science educators invest their time, effort and expertise in the effort to “make science enjoyable and interesting” and “inspire a general interest in and engagement with science.” The consensus purpose for science education experiences are… (Read more)

NAAEE Changemakers

Posted Jan 31, 2020

The NAAEE Changemaker Program is seeking to expand where and when people learn over their lifetime by providing EE 30 Under 30 alumni the opportunity to apply for a small grant to invest in innovative community projects. For nearly five decades, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has been a leader in promoting excellence… (Read more)

International Conference: Towards a 21st Century Approach to Science Education Policy

Posted Jul 26, 2019

Leading science educators from 9 South and Southeastern Asian countries and the U.S. met for three days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (October 4-6, 2017) in an effort to rethink and re-envision science education in the 21st Century. The attendees of this U.S. National Science Foundation-funded international conference reaffirmed the G8-Science Academies Joint Statement (2011) that… (Read more)

STEM 360: Multi-Setting, Multi-Platform STEM Education Engagement Program and Research Study

Posted Jul 26, 2019

STEM 360 is a Commonwealth of Virginia-funded project and a partnership between the Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC) and area schools that is helping to change who has access to learning over their lifetime by developing, testing, and refining an innovative model for sustainable, scalable capacity-building in urban communities, cultivating STEM interests and capabilities… (Read more)

YeSTEM: Partnering for Equitable STEM Pathways for Youth Underrepresented in STEM Project

Posted Jul 26, 2019

The Partnering for Equitable STEM Pathways for Youth Underrepresented in STEM Project (YeSTEM) is building understanding about how youth who historically have not participated in free-choice/informal STEM learning gain access to these experiences. We are working with paid youth researchers to understand how and under what conditions they participate, how they connect experiences in ways… (Read more)

Partnerships for Broader Impacts Design project (BID)

Posted Jul 26, 2019

The Partnerships for Broader Impacts Design (BID) project built a set of resources created to assist higher education institutions (HEIs) and informal science education organizations (ISEs) in developing robust institutional partnerships through collaboration around the design of education-based Broader Impacts (BI) experiences. This project (built on the successful Portal to the Public (PoP) framework) brought… (Read more)

Leap into Science: Cultivating a National Network for Informal Science and Literacy

Posted Jul 26, 2019

The Leap into Science Project is a National Science Foundation-funded collaborative project with the Franklin Institute, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the Institute for Learning Innovation aimed to change who has access to learning over their lifetime by examining best practices for engaging underserved children and families from urban and rural areas in science… (Read more)

Head Start on Engineering: Supporting Engineering Interest Development in Early Childhood

Posted Jul 26, 2019

Head Start on Engineering (HSE) is helping to change who has access to learning over their lifetime by helping to prepare low-income families with young children (ages 3 to 5) for a world where science and engineering are now ubiquitous. Working with local Head Start programs, HSE help children and their parents develop enduring interests… (Read more)

The Connected Audience: International Series of Conferences on Audiences Development & Research

Posted Jul 26, 2019

The Connected Audience Conference Series helps to change who has access to learning over their lifetime by supporting the role of museums and cultural institutions in becoming more visitor-focused. In the 21st century, successful museums and cultural institutions need to be open spaces, act as vital resources and platforms, and partner with multiple organizations and… (Read more)

L.A. County Museum of Art Community Engagement Study

Posted Jul 26, 2019

The L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) Community Engagement Studies were designed to help change who has access to learning over their lifetime. The Institute for Learning Innovation is working to support LACMA’s efforts to build on-going relationships and engagement with the diverse communities it serves, in particular within low income, minority communities of L.A…. (Read more)