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  • Date: 07/08/2021
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Using a design-based research approach, we studied ways to advance opportunities for children and families to engage in engineering design practices in an informal educational setting. 213 families with 5–11-year-old children were observed as they visited a tinkering exhibit at a children’s museum during one of three iterations of a program posing ... »
  • Date: 02/19/2021
    Resource Category: Blog Post
    When Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality of a prolonged closure soon hit home. Like all of our colleague museums, we needed to find a way to remain relevant to our community and carry out important aspects of our work. One key initiative that needed to be sustained was our National Science ... »
  • Date: 09/01/2020
    Resource Category: Project Descriptions
    In informal science contexts, the word tinkering describes a learning process that combines art, science, and technology through hands-on inquiry. With the growth in popularity of the making and tinkering movements nationwide, these practices are increasingly making their way into early childhood environments where they have great promise to ... »
  • Date: 08/15/2020
    Resource Category: Project Descriptions
    A makerspace is a place where participants explore their own interests and learn by creating, tinkering, and inventing artifacts through the use of a rich variety of tools and materials. This project will develop and research a flexible model for makerspaces that can be adapted to local settings to support informal STEM learning for hospitalized, ... »
  • Date: 09/01/2019
    Resource Category: Project Descriptions
    This project responds to calls to increase children's exposure and engagement in STEM at an early age. With the rise of the maker-movement, the informal and formal education sectors have witnessed a dramatic expansion of maker and tinkering spaces, programs, and curricula. This has happened in part because of the potential benefits of tinkering ... »
  • Date: 11/27/2018
    Resource Category: Peer-reviewed article
    Experiences-including museum experiences- that are packaged as stories are more likely to be remembered by both children and adults. For museum visitors, the simple act of narrating what they've done even no more than ten minutes ago can make their experience more meaningful and memorable. How connections are made between a museum experience and ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2017
    Resource Category: Evaluation Reports
    Maker Corps is a program delivered by the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) to increase organizational capacity to develop and deliver maker programing. Since its inception in 2013, the program has grown to support over 100 organizations by providing professional development, connections to a community of other maker educators and ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2017
    Resource Category: Literature Review
    The aim of this review of the literature is to identify what we already know about the engagement of children aged under eight in makerspaces. Given the limited literature in the area, the review takes a broader look at makerspaces for older children where relevant. This is not a systematic review; its aim is not to offer an exhaustive account of ... »
  • Date: 09/01/2016
    Resource Category: Project Descriptions
    This project had three objectives to build knowledge with respect to advancing Informal STEM Education: Plan, prototype, fabricate, and document a game-linked design-and-play STEM exhibit for multi-generational adult-child interaction utilizing an iterative exhibit design approach based on research and best practices in the field; Develop and ... »
  • Date: 05/03/2016
    Resource Category: Audience Study
    This annual report presents an overview of Saint Louis Science Center audience data gathered through a variety of evaluation studies conducted during 2015. This report includes information on the Science Center's general public audience demographics and visitation patterns, gives an overview of visitors' comments about their Science Center ... »

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