WELLCOME Trust and National Science Foundation (NSF) Science Learning + Project

EPI-STEM, University of Limerick, Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland, the Irish Independent Newspaper, IdeaStream and lead partner Kent State University were successful in the Science Learning + Planning Grant with Wellcome Trust and the National Science Foundation.   The partners are collaborating to develop a project to explore the impact of STEM experiences across multiple ecologies.

A collaboration to develop tools for mapping and assessing the impact of STEM experiences across different ecologies.

This Science Learning + planning project will develop a prototype-assessment tool to map STEM learning experiences across different learning ecologies (e.g. science centres, mass media, home environment) and to develop research questions and designs for a Phase 2 Science Learning + proposal.

The tool will focus on the impact of the learning ecologies on knowledge, interest, identity and reasoning rather than emphasize learning in a specific content area.  The partners will develop and conduct a small scale usability study during the planning period, which will inform what is proposed in the Phase 2 research.

A key focus of the planning period will be to identify and develop the theoretical constructs (i.e. outcomes) to be measured by the prototype.  As a starting point, the project will start with four of the six strands identities in Learning Science in Informal Environments (National Research Council, Bell et al., 2009):
1.    interest triggered by a STEM experience
2.    understanding scientific knowledge
3.    engaging in scientific reasoning, and
4.    identifying with the scientific enterprise.

Partners from each partner institute in the project are:
Bradley Morris (Principal Investigator) and John Dunlosky, (Co- Principal Investigator), Kent State University
Kirsten Ellenhogen, Great Lakes Science Centre
Sibel Erduran, EPI-STEM, University of Limerick
Michael Edelman, IdeaStream
Katherine Donnelly, Irish Independent newspaper.