Conducting Research-to-Practice Work During a Pandemic: Utilizing Video and Zoom to Engage Families in Tinkering-At-Home
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 Foundation (NSF)-funded research-to-practice project: TALES (Tinkering and Learning Engineering Stories)1. A partnership between CCM, Loyola University Chicago, and Northwestern University, this project studies how narrative and storytelling during tinkering explorations impact families’ engineering learning. The project will result in empirically-based practices and resources that can be used to promote children’s learning about engineering in informal settings.