Life Changes

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 to Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Professional Development and Workshops, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators
Education and learning science | Life science | Social science and psychology
Access and Inclusion: 
Hispanic/Latinx Communities
English Language Learners
New York Hall of Science, Miami Science Museum, North Museum of Natural History & Science, University of Michigan

The New York Hall of Science is overseeing a complex, four-year applied research and traveling exhibit development project on "precursor concepts" to the theory of evolution. These concepts pertain to key ideas about life -- variation, inheritance, selection, and time (VIST) -- and are organized around the principle that living things change over time. The central research question is: Can informal, museum-based interventions prepare young children (5 -12) to understand the scientific basis of evolution by targeting their intuitive pre-evolutionary concepts? The work involves many collaborators -- museum personnel around the country, university researchers, exhibit designers and evaluators, web designers, the Association of Science-Technology Centers and a number of advisors in the biological sciences, psychology and in informal and formal education. The products include applied research studies that will add to the conceptual change knowledge base in cognitive psychology, a 1,000 square-foot exhibit plus discovery boxes, a section on the UC-Berkeley Understanding Evolution web site, extensive on site and online staff training opportunities for participating museums and others, several dissemination activities including two research symposia, and bilingual (English and Spanish) exhibit materials and family guides. The project is positioned as a new model in informal science education for integrating research, development and evaluation, with applicability beyond the life sciences to other STEM fields.

Funding Program: 
Award Number: 
Funding Amount: 

Team Members

Martin WeissMartin WeissPrincipal Investigator
Sean DuranSean DuranCo-Principal Investigator
Margie MarinoMargie MarinoCo-Principal Investigator
Evelyn EvansEvelyn EvansCo-Principal Investigator
Preeti GuptaPreeti GuptaCo-Principal Investigator

Request to Edit a Resource

If you would like to edit a resource, please use this form to submit your request.