REVEALing Findings from the Field: Experiences Developing and Implementing a Staff Facilitation Model at Two Science Centers

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Families | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
Education and learning science | Mathematics
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry & Institute for Learning Innovation, ScienceWorks Hands on Museum, TERC

The REVEAL project is an NSF funded project to learn about how facilitation impacts family’s experiences of math exhibits. The goal of the project was to iteratively develop and refine a theoretical model of how staff facilitation deepens and extends family mathematical discourse at interactive exhibits. This model underwent rigorous testing and ultimately provided the evidence and research-based tools to support PD efforts for informal STEM educators. As part of this testing the learnings from developing at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, in Portland, Oregon) were applied in an educator training to ScienceWorks (in Ashland, Oregon). This article explores the experience of transferring of the REVEAL framework from OMSI to ScienceWorks and delves into factors that seemed to make a difference. For this article we look at these differences were manifest and consider the ramifications of funding requirements that encourage replicability across multiple sites. Some factors we identified as being significant in this were more physical like an institution’s size and geographic location while others were more philosophical such as adapting to individual facilitator styles, responding to unique institutional educational priorities. We also delve into some unanticipated outcomes such as the importance of creating personalized connections with partner organizations and how those could lead to future collaborations and strong community bonds. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of our findings and some recommendations for the field.

Funding Program: 
Award Number: 
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Publication Name: 
Informal Learning Review
May/June 2016
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Team Members

Ivel GontanAuthor
Summer BrandonSummer BrandonAuthor
Andee RubinAuthor
Marcie BenneMarcie BenneAuthor

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