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Learning Environment

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  • Date: 03/12/2019
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Fostering interest in science is critical for broadening engagement with science topics, careers, and hobbies. Research suggests that these interests begin to form as early as preschool and have long-term implications for participation and learning. However, scholars have only speculated on the processes that shape interest development at this age ... »
  • Date: 03/01/2019
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Informal STEM education institutions seek to engage broader cross sections of their communities to address inequities in STEM participation and remain relevant in a multicultural society. In this chapter, we advance the role that evaluation can play in helping the field adopt more inclusive practices and achieve greater equity than at present ... »
  • Date: 02/15/2019
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Outreach activities at the interface of science and art present a unique opportunity to connect and engage with “latently interested” publics who do not otherwise take part in science activities like visiting science museums. In this paper, the authors present “Guerilla Science” as one model that supports the hypothesis that well-designed science ... »
  • Date: 07/23/2018
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    This paper describes an NSF-funded study which explored the relationship between female-responsive exhibit designs and girls’ engagement. Across three participating science centers, 906 museum visitors ages 8 to 13 were observed at 334 interactive physics, math, engineering, and perception exhibits. We measured girls’ engagement based on whether ... »
  • Date: 05/24/2018
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Scientists can reap personal rewards through collaborations with science and natural history museums, zoos, botanical gardens, aquaria, parks, and nature preserves, and, while doing so, help to advance science literacy and broaden participation in the natural sciences. Beyond volunteer opportunities, which allow scientists to contribute their ... »
  • Date: 04/01/2018
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    It is a well-documented fact that women and minorities are currently underrepresented in STEM higher education degree programs and careers. As an outreach measure to these populations, we established the Hexacago Health Academy (HHA), an ongoing summer program. Structured as an informal learning environment with a strong youth initiated mentoring ... »
  • Date: 08/01/2017
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Counterspaces in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are often considered “safe spaces” at the margins for groups outside the mainstream of STEM education. The prevailing culture and structural manifestations in STEM have traditionally privileged norms of success that favor competitive, individualistic, and solitary practices— ... »
  • Date: 05/29/2017
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Out-of-school settings promise to broaden participation in science to groups that are often left out of school-based opportunities. Increasing such involvement is premised on the notion that science is intricately tied to “the social, material, and personal well-being” of individuals, groups, and nations—indicators and aspirations that are deeply ... »
  • Date: 03/15/2017
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    In this article, we investigate how the national imperative to increase opportunities for young women of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to broaden their participation was taken up locally at two high schools in one school district. Using ethnographic and longitudinal data, we focus on four young women of ... »
  • Date: 01/23/2017
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Science cafés offer a place for information and discussion for all who are interested in science and its broader implications for society. In this paper, science cafés are explored as a means of informal science dialogue in order to gain more understanding of the science-society relationship. Perspectives of visitors, organisers and moderators of ... »

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