CAISE convenings have brought together informal STEM education (ISE) practitioners, researchers, evaluators, funders, and other stakeholders to discuss content topics connected with CAISE initiatives as well as to explore current learning approaches and trends in the ISE field. These convenings are part of CAISE's effort to connect related work across field sectors and catalyze innovative ideas for future research and development. The outcomes of CAISE convenings result in new resources for the InformalScience.org repository and have informed the agendas of National Science Foundation (NSF) Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program Principal Investigator meetings and other national ISE forums.
The intent of this convening was to deepen the ISE field's understanding about the benefits, challenges and unexplored opportunities that working in networks provides. Organizational networks comprises an important portion of the ISE program portfolio; participants included ISE-funded projects identified as representative of the type of network structures to explore and generate new thinking and knowledge about.
Practice-and-Research convened a group of practitioners and researchers-as well as those who have worked in both realms, some of whom have been funded by the AISL program, to characterize the current state of the informal STEM education field with regard to the dynamics between practice and research (including education, learning science, social science, and other disciplines.) Archives are available upon request: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISE Professional Development convened principal investigators, project evaluators, NSF program officers, two outside experts and other project staff from around the country who represented a range of informal science education sectors, including science centers and museums, theater, broadcast media, after school programs, and libraries to deepen the ISE field's understanding about the unique challenges and unexplored opportunities that ISE professional development projects provide.
The intent of the Sustainability Science and ISE convening was to deepen our collective understanding of sustainability science, explore how the ISE field can build capacity in this area, and to discuss future directions for our projects, NSF's investments, and the field writ large.
CAISE launched the initiative through teleconferences with working groups and an online forum that informed a convening of 40 experts from across informal science education and related fields. These activities identified trends and critical needs in the practice of ISE evaluation and developed directions for resources, training, and other supports to advance the profession and the field.
CAISE convened a working meeting of ISE professionals, leaders of STEM research education and public outreach efforts and representatives from science professional associations to brainstorm ways to enhance the organization and expand the metadata framework of the InformalScience.org website to better address and reflect the needs, interests, and language of scientists and university/laboratory/industry directors of educationm and public outreach.
CAISE convened a strategic planning meeting of NSF program directors, CAISE co-PIs and staff to discuss how NSF centers and projects are already, and might in the future, address their education, outreach and broader impacts needs through exploring the wide variety of opportunities available in informal science education.