Summative Evaluation of the Cyberchase: The Chase Is On! Exhibition
Children's Museum of Houston (CMH) contracted with Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to evaluate Cyberchase: The Chase is On!--a National Science Foundation-funded exhibition designed to facilitate children's development of mathematical strategies and build their confidence in using these strategies in daily life. The exhibition used the popular children's television show, Cyberchase, as a vehicle to facilitate this learning. CMH identified the exhibition's target audience as children between the ages of 5 and 10 years, with an emphasis on children 7 years and older. To document the exhibition's impact, RK&A conducted 200 timing and tracking observations of children in the target age range 100 at CMH and 100 at the New York Hall of Science (NYHS), 119 in-depth interviews 63 with children in the target age range and 56 with caregivers visiting with a child in the target age range, and conducted naturalistic observations of 178 visitors at two select exhibits providing a more detailed account of visitors' math-related learning. Data were collected from April to December 2007. Select findings and their implications are as follows: (1) The majority of adults and children demonstrated understanding of two key exhibition messages Math is a way of thinking and everyone can be successful at it and We use math every day ; two possible factors contributing to successful delivery of these messages are (1) setting up exhibits as challenges that allowed visitors to succeed or win and (2) using a familiar television show about math as an entry point to increase visitor comfort with math concepts. (2) Most parents in the exhibition were actively involved with their children's experiences a high level of adult coaching was observed (60 percent) among visiting groups, a behavior associated with learning in museums. The appendix of this report includes definitions of exhibits with intended use, misuse, and additional behaviors.
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