In this paper we investigate how people become engaged with open data, what their motivations are, and the barriers and facilitators program participants perceive with regard to using open data effectively.
Jack ShanleyCamillia MatukOded NovGraham Dove
resourceresearchProfessional Development, Conferences, and Networks
The overall goal of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) Equity Audit has been to assess CAISE as an organization, and its operations and products through a racial equity lens. In this report, CAISE provides insights on how to better serve our audiences, identify potential resource gaps, and to expand the reach and value of our work to other communities and individuals.
Tinkering experiences in informal learning spaces can engage families in engineering practices and support learning (Pagano et al., 2020). Further, reflections after informal learning experiences can reveal and extend children’s memory and learning (Pagano et al., 2019), but reflections vary by age, culture, setting, program, and other factors (Fivush et al., 2006). We examined how the conversational structure and engineering content of families’ reflections vary across multiple museum visits and across different types of tinkering programs (e.g., open-ended vs. function-focused).
Tinkering activities designed for parents and children can foster spatial thinking, which benefits spatial skill development (Ramey et al., 2020). During tinkering activities, families may be challenged to use tools and materials to solve open-ended problems (Bevan, 2017). The problems specified by different tinkering challenges can highlight intrinsic or extrinsic spatial information (Chatterjee, 2008; Mix et al., 2018). In this project we asked, how does the spatial information highlighted by a tinkering challenge affect the quality of families’ spatial thinking?
Naomi PolinskyElena FiegenKaitlyn HurkaCatherine HadenDavid Uttal
The tinkering process of making, testing, and iteratively redesigning projects can teach children about engineering concepts (Marcus et al., 2021; NGSS, 2013), but there is variability in how tinkering programs are designed. Storytelling may make children’s learning experiences personally meaningful and narratively organized, thereby supporting memory (Bruner, 1996). We designed multiple story-based tinkering programs and examined how the types of story characters and goals introduced in the tinkering programs would relate to the content of families’ talk in post-tinkering reflections.
In this project, we asked whether storytelling during tinkering might support children’s engagement in STEM and how that may differ across boys and girls. According to Bruner (1996), stories can help children to organize experiences by adding coherence, increasing understanding, and facilitating learning. We observed associations between story and STEM in two contexts: home and museum exhibit.
Given the important role of autonomy support in children’s motivation and learning, this study asked whether parents’ use of autonomy supportive language (vs. controlling language) was associated with children’s engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a bi-directional manner during an at-home tinkering activity.
This summary brief captures highlights from the second year of the NSF-funded WaterMarks project. The technical evaluation report for this same project period can be found on the main project page. The purpose of this document is to communicate key updates (as observed by the evaluation team) in a less technical way with the many different audiences who have an interest in keeping up with WaterMarks.
This poster from the 2023 ASTC conference provides and overview of research from the NSF funded Designing Our Tomorrow project. This research study examined storytelling approaches used by caregivers and educators to communicate to other caregiver and educators that the engineering practices exercised at DOT exhibits are usefully relevant to problem-solving in their day-to-day lives and within their communities.
In this collaborative project, a university research lab and children's science museum work together to design, implement, study, and revise a week-long data science camp for middle school age students, data science learning assessment items and a facilitator training curriculum.
This project will enhance understanding of how practitioners and researchers can and should form equitable partnerships in service of supporting lifelong STEM learning in informal learning environments.
Elysa CorinDaniel AguirreDeborah SiegelAshanti Davis
This is the evaluation report for the second year of the NSF-funded WaterMarks project. It reflects a current summary of available evidence about the intended outcomes of program activities to date, as well as commentary on how the project is using (or could use) this information moving forward.