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2020 AISL-Funded Projects

A rich variety of projects funded in 2020 by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program are now cataloged on InformalScience.org. Below, the awards are listed with their Principal Investigators’ names and categorized alphabetically by project type: Broad Implementation, Conferences, Innovations in Development, Pilots and Feasibility Studies, Post-Doctoral Fellowship Awards, Rapid Response Research (RAPID), Research Coordination Networks, Research in Service to Practice, and Travel Grants.

You may also use the advanced search function on InformalScience.org to sort by audience type, disciplinary content, and other tags of interest.

 

Broad Implementation

These projects more fully explore questions and issues for which there are already preliminary findings, significant literature, or a practice base.

Collaborative Research Broadening Participation of Latinx Students in Computer Science by Integrating Culturally Relevant Computational Music Practices Diley Hernandez, Georgia Tech Research Corp
Collaborative Research Broadening Participation of Latinx Students in Computer Science by Integrating Culturally Relevant Computational Music Practices Rafael Arce-Nazario, U Puerto Rico Rio Piedras

 

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

Career awards provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers not only as outstanding researchers, but also as educators demonstrating commitment to teaching, learning, and dissemination of knowledge.

CAREER: Broadening Perspectives of Science, Technology, and Culture Through Community-Driven Design of Place-Based Storytelling Experiences Breanne Litts, Utah State University

 

Conferences

Integration of STEM and social-emotional development in out-of-school time programs: A virtual conference Gil Noam, McLean Hospital
Exploring Early Childhood STEM Tinkering Conference Mike Petrich, Exploratorium
Strategic Outcome Progressions Conference: Exploring a Framework for Measuring Informal Education Outcomes and Institutional Impact Deborah Wasserman, Franklin County Historical Society
Conference: Science Museum Futures John Falk, Institute for Learning Innovation
A Research to Practice Conference to Identify and Disseminate the Evidence, Characteristics and Program Models that Demonstrate the Value of Connected STEM Learning Murphy Elizabeth, National Science Teaching Association

 

Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)

These exploratory projects are working in the early stages of untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches.

EAGER: Science and Ethics in Informal STEM Contexts Kendall Moore, University of Rhode Island

 

Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES)

These NSF INCLUDES Alliances are building infrastructure to foster collaboration and broaden participation in STEM by using the design elements of collective impact.

NSF INCLUDES Alliance: STEM PUSH (Pathways for Underrepresented Students to Higher Education) Network

Alison Slinskey Legg, University of Pittsburgh

NSF INCLUDES Alliance: STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings (STEM-OPS)

Eden Badertscher, Education Development Center

 
 

Innovations in Development

These are projects that are expected to result in deliverables such as exhibits, media products, after school programs, etc., and in innovative models, programs, technologies, assessments, resources, or systems for an area of STEM learning in informal environments.

SciGirls in the National Parks: Building Positive STEM Identities in Underserved Girls in Citizen Science Programs Using Gender Equitable and Culturally Responsive Practices Rita Karl, Twin Cities Public TV
Game Changers exhibition: A sports exhibition and research study to encourage inventive identity development and broaden participation in STEM innovation Monica Smith, Smithsonian Institution
Broadening Participation in Informal STEM Learning for Autistic Learners and Others through Virtual Reality Teon Edwards, TERC Inc
Collaborative Research: Understanding the Role of Informal STEM Educators in Creating Maker-based and Community-Centered Technology and Computer Science Learning Hubs for Urban Youth Foad Hamidi, U of MD Baltimore County
Collaborative Research: Understanding the Role of Informal STEM Educators in Creating Maker-based and Community-Centered Technology and Computer Science Learning Hubs for Urban Youth Andrew Coy, Digital Harbor Foundation
Collaborative Research: The Development of Culturally Responsive Digital Media to Support STEM Knowledge Acquisition for English Learners Kelsey Savage, Complexly
Collaborative Research: The Development of Culturally Responsive Digital Media to Support STEM Knowledge Acquisition for English Learners Heather Lavigne, Education Development Center
Youth Lead the Way: A Youth Advisory Research Board Model for Climate Impact Education Christopher Cardiel, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry
Collaborative Research: Tinkering and Making Strategies to Engage Children and Families in Creating with Code Natalie Rusk, MIT
Collaborative Research: Tinkering and Making Strategies to Engage Children and Families in Creating with Code Mike PetrichExploratorium
Collaborative Research: Tinkering and Making Strategies to Engage Children and Families in Creating with Code Ricarose Roque, U of Colorado Boulder
Playful Learning Landscapes: Promoting Informal STEM Learning in Public Spaces Andres Bustamante, UC Irvine
Empowering Informal Educators to Prepare Future Generations in Wireless Radio Communications with Mobile Resources Sherry HsiBSCS Science Learning
Baltimore Online Algebra for High School Students in Technology Michael Falk, Johns Hopkins University
STEM, growth mindset, and sports: Investigating STEM program design features that impact youth engagement Ricardo Valerdi, U of Arizona
Multi-Gen STEM Makerspaces in Affordable Housing: Co-Designing a Model with the Community Sam Catherine Johnston, CAST, Inc.
Creating a Teen Science Cafe Movement Michelle Hall, Science Education Solution
Social Wearables: Enhancing Girls' Computational Learning and Motivation Katherine Isbister, U of Cal Santa Cruz
Working Toward Equitable Organizations: Building Capacity for Leadership of Color in Outdoor and Environmental Science Education Craig Strang, UC Berkeley
Seeing Scientifically: Developing Smart Microscope Exhibits That Support Authentic Visitor Observation and Scientific Inquiry of Living Microscopic Organisms Kristina Yu, Exploratorium
Building Capacity for Inclusive Informal STEM Learning Opportunities for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder Judith Koke, Institute for Learning Innovation
Collaborative Research: The Notion of Failure and Maker Programming for Youth: Supporting the Professional Development, Reflection, and Learning of Informal Educators Adam Maltese, Indiana University
Collaborative Research: The Notion of Failure and Maker Programming for Youth: Supporting the Professional Development, Reflection, and Learning of Informal Educators Amber Simpson, SUNY Binghamton
Young Patients as Innovators: Developing Pediatric Makerspaces to Enhance Chronically Ill Children's STEM Learning, Self-Agency, and Identity. Gokul Krishnan, Digital Harbor Foundation
Intelligent Science Exhibits: Enhancing STEM Learning through Sustained Use of Mixed-Reality in Multiple Informal Learning Spaces Nesra Yannier, Carnegie Mellon University
Investigating the Development of STEM-Positive Identities of Refugee Teens in a Physics Out-of-School Time Experience Tino Nyawelo, University of Utah
Fostering Joint Parent/Child Engagement in Preschool Computational Thinking by Leveraging Digital Media, Mobile Technology, and Library Settings in Urban and Rural Communities Marisa WolskyWGBH Educational Foundation
Using Guided Nature Experiences To Engage 18-25 Year-Olds in STEM and Climate Science Content Loren Smith, National Audubon Society
Guardians of the Living Water: Advancing STEM Learning in Informal Settings Across Apsaalooke Communities in the Western United States Vanessa Simonds, Montana State University
Collaborative Research: A new model for producing science documentaries: Building collaborations between scientists and storytellers to test methods of communication in film Dietram Scheufele, U of Wisconsin Madison
Collaborative Research: A new model for producing science documentaries: Building collaborations between scientists and storytellers to test methods of communication in film Sarah Goodwin, iBiology
iPAGE 2.0: Understanding and Supporting Transformative Change Toward Equity in the ISE Sector E. Liesl Chatman, Science Museum of Minnesota

 

Pilots and Feasibility Studies

These projects offer opportunities for practitioners and researchers to investigate issues in and approaches to informal STEM learning and to establish the basis for future research, design, and development of innovations or approaches.

Indigenous Hawaiian Knowledge/Ike Hawaii Pop-up Science Center: Exploring the Effectiveness of Community-driven, Culturally Sustaining STEM Exhibit Development Maile Keliipio-Acoba, INPEACE
STEM Workforce Stories for Adolescents Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Judy Vesel, TERC Inc
Investigating the Impact of Head Start Family Interactions on Children’s STEM Process Skills during Family Events at Two Science Centers Jennifer Schwade, Sciencenter
Data Literacy with, for, and by Youth: Exploring How Teens Co-Design After-School Programs as Sites of Critical Data Practice Leanne Bowler, Pratt Institute
Engaging Rural Youth in Multidisciplinary Inquiry through Archaeology Laurie Miroff, SUNY Binghamton
Collaborative Informal STEM Learning Between Researchers and Homeless Communities Chris Hawn, U of MD Baltimore County
Museums and Inclusion: Understanding Visitors' Sense of Belonging in Science and Natural History Museums Marjorie Bequette, Science Museum of MN
Enacting a culturally-sustaining STEM Institute in the Gullah/Geechee Community Fenice Boyd, U of SC Columbia
Wildlife Neighbors: facilitated ecological research via camera surveys with minority youth in Detroit Nyeema Harris, University of Michigan
Cultivating Science: Examining the Free-Choice Science Learning Networks of Urban Gardeners Elysa Corin, Institute for Learning Innovation
Learning Data Science Through Civic Engagement With Open Data Oded Nov, New York University
Studying Scientist-Educator-Artist Collaborations and Participatory Community Learning around Environmental Change and Adaptation Amy Lesen, Tulane University
Stories of Fire: Integrative Informal STEM Learning through Participatory Narratives Teresa Cohn, University of Idaho
Learning Solutions: Investigating Fundamental Tools, Resources & Strategies to Support Professionals Addressing Persistent Issues in STEM John Falk, Institute for Learning Innovation

 

Rapid Response Research (RAPID)

These projects were funded to address a range of STEM learning, science communication and public engagement aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID RAPID: Rapidly building a collaborative network of informal educators to address extended school closures related to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic Adam Maltese, Indiana University
COVID RAPID: Broadening Access to Science-Based Information and Practices to Protect Families and Curb the Spread of COVID-19 Among Low Income Families With a Focus on Latino Families Alicia Torres, Child Trends Inc
COVID RAPID: PBS NewsHour coverage of non-medical, non-clinical care research around COVID-19 Patti Parson, Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association
COVID RAPID: Using Popular Media to Educate Youth About the Biology of Viruses and the Current COVID-19 Pandemic Judy Diamond, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
COVID RAPID: How People Learn Rapidly: COVID-19 as a Crisis of Socioscientific Understanding and Educational Equity Angela Calabrese Barton, Regents of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
COVID RAPID: Collaborative Research: Influencing Young Adults' Science Engagement and Learning with COVID-19 Media Coverage Sue Ellen McCann, KQED Inc
COVID RAPID: Collaborative Research: Influencing Young Adults' Science Engagement and Learning with COVID-19 Media Coverage Asheley Landrum, Texas Tech University
COVID RAPID: Addressing Families' Covid-19 Information and Education Needs Through Podcast Media Amy Grack Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
COVID RAPID: Exploring the Effects of Parent-Child Interactions on Children's Learning about Handwashing Behavior and Disease Prevention David Sobel, Brown University
COVID RAPID: Supports and Challenges in an Educational Crisis: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth STEM Pathways Preeti Gupta, American Museum Natural History
RAPID: Advancing Museum-Community Conversations that Intersect STEM and Racial Justice Joanne Jones-Rizzi, Science Museum of Minnesota

 

Research Coordination Networks (RCNs)

This first-ever AISL RCN award funds new directions in learning research by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries.

Developing a Network to Coordinate Research on Equity Practices and Cultures in STEM Maker Education Maria Olivares, Boston University

 

Research in Service to Practice

These projects focus on research that advances knowledge and the evidence base for practices, assumptions, broadening participation, or emerging educational arrangements in STEM learning in informal environments, including the science of science communication.

Comunidad de Ciencia: Building Latina STEM Interest through Community Cultural Wealth and Familial Problem-Based Learning Katherine Short-Meyerson, U of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Intrinsic Motivation in Science Museums: Learning from and Broadening Participation of Visitors with Learning Disabilities Samantha Daley, University of Rochester
Collaborative Research: Promoting Engagement in Informal STEM Learning as a Path to Employment for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Amy Hurst, New York University
Collaborative Research: Promoting Engagement in Informal STEM Learning as a Path to Employment for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Kristen Gillespie, CUNY Staten Island
Developing STEM Skills through Play and Exhibit Design for Early Learners in Children’s Museums and Science Centers Laura Huerta Migus, Association of Children's Museums
Motivating interest and academic choices in mathematics through near-peer interactions Aaron Wilson, U Texas Rio Grande Valley
Posted by Aya Rothwell