Science on the Move: Everyday Encounters with Science
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is implementing a Pathways project that will test and refine a model to promote an appreciation that science is everywhere and personally relevant by engaging transit riders in Portland, OR with location-relevant STEM content through unfacilitated, interactive science exhibits in everyday places. The study will employ a "design-based research" approach that both iteratively tests exhibit effectiveness and develops and refines an underlyting theoretical model that can contribute knowledge to the field. The "Science on the Move" model will be developed and tested using an exhibit prototype that includes 1) an easily transportable prototype core with a familiar touch-screen interface, 2) multiple sets of interactive digital content, and 3) a variety of accompanying outer skins designed to attract the public. The exhibit prototype will be placed at bus transit nodes to reach adults, specifically targeting those without college degrees who are underrepresented in science centers. A range of possible STEM content domains will be selected and tested based on topics of interest to the public. If successful, given the several challenges involved, the feasibility study will be applied more fully around Portland and be a model for other cities to consider.