As a part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program funds research and innovative resources for use in a variety of settings. This Innovations in Development project will develop new knowledge about joint parent-child participation in science talk and practices using a 2nd screen app synced with a television program. "Splash! Ask-Me Adventures" is an app designed to work in conjunction with a marine science-focused television program for children 2-8 years old that will premier nationally on PBS Kids (Fall 2016). This free app will include a variety of "Conversation Catalysts" tied to the television episodes to help parents support children's science learning at home and in other venues such as aquariums and science centers. The project aims to support children's conceptual understanding of science concepts and practices, empower parents and caregivers to facilitate learning during media engagement, and contribute to the research literature on joint engagement with media. Collaborating project partners include The Jim Henson Company, Curious Media, SRI Education, and The Concord Consortium. Innovation in new methodology and instrumentation resulting from this project includes the creation of two new research tools to measure (1) families' discourse while engaging with media and (2)the impact of "Splash! Ask-Me Adventures" on children's science learning. Potential contributions to society-at-large are: (1)young learners will be better prepared to meet STEM curriculum milestones in school and scientific/technical challenges as adults; (2) parents will use new dialogic questioning skills to become more confident and active learning facilitators during media and non-media experiences with their children; (3) Conversation Catalysts, a new sub-genre of educational apps will emerge, based on proven theories of beneficial adult-child interaction and the impact of designed joint engagement with media on informal learning; and (4)a new generation will embrace marine stewardship.
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