The Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is mid-way through year five of a five-year cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The NSF funded CAISE in 2007 in order to serve as a resource center to the informal science education (ISE) program, its grantees, and the larger ISE field. Inverness Research has served as the external evaluator for the past five years, documenting the development of CAISE, and the quality and value of its work to key audiences and stakeholders.
This report is a reflection on the progress of CAISE that draws upon our
Individuals do not all come to tasks, activities, or assignments with the same readiness to engage. Differences in the ability to focus, comprehend, or problem-solve can lead to inequalities of outcome and make learners less likely to realize their potential. Given that interest development supports persistence, conscientiousness, and the ability to work with negative feedback, educators and policymakers could help to increase educational opportunity for all by promoting the development of interest. Interest is a cognitive and motivational variable that describes (a) engagement, or
resourceresearchProfessional Development, Conferences, and Networks
Advances in technology, science, and learning sciences research over the past 100 years have reshaped science education. This chapter focuses on how investigators from varied fields of inquiry who initially worked separately began to interact, eventually formed partnerships, and recently integrated their perspectives to strengthen science education. Advances depended on the broadening of the participants in science education research, starting with psychologists, science discipline experts, and science educators; adding science teachers, psychometricians, computer scientists, and sociologists
Doctoral students in science disciplines spend countless hours learning how to conduct cutting-edge research but very little time learning to communicate the nature and significance of their science to people outside their field. To narrow this disparity, we created an unusual course titled Communicating Science for doctoral science trainees at Rutgers University. Our goal was to help students develop an advanced ability to communicate their research clearly and accurately and to emphasize its value and significance to diverse audiences. Course design included classroom instruction
In recent years, transmedia has come into the spotlight among those creating and using media and technology for children. We believe that transmedia has the potential to be a valuable tool for expanded learning that addresses some of the challenges facing children growing up in the digital age. Produced by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, this paper provides a much-needed guidebook to transmedia in the lives of children age 5-11 and its applications to storytelling, play, and learning. Building off of a review of the existing popular and scholarly literature
Supporting more equitable participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) remains a key, persistent educational challenge. This paper employs a sociological Bourdieusian lens to explore how equitable youth outcomes might be supported through informal science learning (ISL). Drawing on multimodal, ethnographic data from four case study youth aged 11–14 from two ISL programs, we identify four areas of practice that were enacted to a greater or lesser extent in the programs in support of equitable youth outcomes. We identify how the equitable potential of these practices
With the ongoing need for water conservation, the American Southwest has worked to increase harvested rainwater efforts to meet municipal needs. Concomitantly, environmental pollution is prevalent, leading to concerns regarding the quality of harvested rainwater. Project Harvest, a co-created community science project, was initiated with communities that neighbor sources of pollution. To better understand how a participant’s socio-demographic factors affect home characteristics and rainwater harvesting infrastructure, pinpoint gardening practices, and determine participant perception of
Environmental health literacy (EHL) has recently been deﬁned as the continuum of environmental health knowledge and awareness, skills and self-efﬁcacy, and community action. In this study, an interdisciplinary team of university scientists, partnering with local organizations, developed and facilitated EHL trainings with special focus on rainwater harvesting and water contamination, in four communities with known environmental health stressors in Arizona, USA. These participatory trainings incorporated participants’ prior environmental health risk knowledge and personal experiences to co
Environmental health citizen science (CS) offers a strategy for historically disenfranchised community members to inform research questions, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions about contaminants in their local environments to inform local action. In this study, direct feedback from demographically diverse participants and promotoras (community health workers) in a co-created environmental health CS project informs understanding of CS participant motivation, support, and barriers to participation. Study findings reflect a lack of association between participant self-efficacy and
BACKGROUND: Environmental health risks are disproportionately colocated with communities in poverty and communities of color. In some cases, participatory research projects have eﬀectively addressed structural causes of health risk in environmental justice (EJ) communities. However, many such projects fail to catalyze change at a structural level.
OBJECTIVES: This review employs Critical Interpretive Synthesis (CIS) to theorize speciﬁc elements of participatory research for environmental health that eﬀectively prompt structural change in EJ communities.
METHODS: Academic database search
Through desk-based research and expert interviews, this study set out to investigate how funders and policy makers could drive coordination and improvements in the evaluation of youth engagement with STEM. The study explored the current landscape of evaluating youth engagement with STEM, gaps and challenges and key learnings from the evaluation practice in other sectors and key initiatives. Between February and March 2022, 18 project and programme evaluation reports and papers were reviewed, approximately 40 academic papers were analysed and synthesised, and 14 experts were interviewed.