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An online community and collection of informal STEM learning projects, evaluation, and research resources.

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Search and Browse Informal Education Resources

ISE experiences offer dynamic, creative platforms for communicating science to learners of all ages. InformalScience.org has strategies and examples for this work from a variety of environments, institutions and projects.

Outreach For Scientists 

This collaborative effort is a UK/US funding partnership that seeks to strengthen the research and knowledge base on the impact of informal STEM experiences and settings in both countries.

Science Learning+ 

Access peer-reviewed articles from thousands of learning research journals through EBSCO’s Education Research Complete database, available to logged- in members of InformalScience.org.


Recent Site Activity

Portal to the Public Seeks Applicants

The Portal to the Public Network is an National Science Foundation funded program led by the Pacific Science Center in [...]

Science Learning+ Awards

Earlier this month, the National Science Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the UK Economic and Social Research Council [...]

New NSF Grant Proposal Guide

The National Science Foundation has released a new Grant Proposal Guide. The Guide is applicable to all proposals [...]

University-Science Center Partnering in Ohio

The Ohio State University, one of the largest public research universities in the country, and COSI, one of the oldest and [...]

The Evolving Partnership between Museums and Universities in the Public Interest

Museums of natural history, the natural sciences, science and technology, and their hybrids with robust research and [...]

New Evaluation Resources on InformalScience.org

InformalScience.org recently launched a newly updated evaluation page designed to make evaluation resources more [...]

Multi-Institution Science Center Effects Study Workshop

Welcome to the first national workshop in support of the Multi-Institution Science Center Effects Study. This NSF-funded project, which includes two workshops and two online forum discussions, is designed to directly support a national research effort to advance understanding of the effects science centers have on their communities. On October 17, 2014, a group of research and science center experts from across the country will convene for the first of two workshops to learn more about the multi-institution research study and discuss how the research can best address science center questions, issues, and concerns. The goal of this first online forum is to begin these conversations and prepare participants for the upcoming workshop.The project is led by John Falk, Oregon State University, Institute for Learning Innovation. The workshop and forum will also be moderated by: Scott Pattison, Institute for Learning Innovation, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry; Kate Tinworth, ExposeYourMuseum; David Bibas, California Science Center; Steve Fifield, Franklin Institute; and Sharon Kortman, Arizona Science Center.

Media and Interactive/Online/Mobile Technologies for Informal STEM Learning

This Group builds on and proposes to sustain the conversations that have taken place in convenings on media-related STEM learning, including the CAISE Media Convenings in July 2011 and March 2012, as well as the Open Space discussions at the recent PI meeting. Our goal is to understand and leverage the rapid changes in media and technology today to improve informal STEM learning. Our goal is to be inclusive rather than exclusive, because media and technology today have the potential to intersect with and enhance every form of informal science education. So we include traditional mass media, short and long-form television, radio, film, large format and digital media. We also include online learning platforms, computer-based games, social media, affinity spaces and mobile technologies. We hope the discussion will inform the application of these technologies to museums, zoos and science centers, just as the development of new types of interactive technologies in these spaces, such as immersive 3D, is informing other media applications. Content from the existing site at www.caisemedia.org will be added here in the coming weeks.

Building Informal Science Education (BISE) Project

How do we know that informal STEM learning happens? Where's the evidence to support our impact? What are the design principles underlying effective practice? What's the best way to conceptualize, support, and measure learning in different learning environments and with different audiences? The Building Informal Science Education (BISE) project seeks to help the field access, understand, and learn from prior work. BISE is a NSF-funded collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Visitor Studies Association. We've spent the last few years diving deep into the evaluation reports that have been uploaded to informalscience.org in order begin to understand what the field can learn from such a rich resource. To date, BISE has produced an extensive coding framework, coded 521 reports, and commissioned five synthesis papers. We are now working to integrate some of our coding into the new informalscience.org website and exploring ways to make our NVivo database freely available for others to conduct their own analyses.

2014 AISL PI Meeting

This Group has been created to document and share inputs, discussions, and other resources for the 2014 AISL PI Meeting in Washington, DC. Scroll down to the Group Documents section to find important documents related to the meeting, such as the draft agenda and information about poster sessions. Information about breakout session topic threads will be posted in the Group Forum as it becomes available. To turn off notifications when people post to the Group, click on the "Forum Subscriptions" link on the Group Home page. Please click the "send email to organizer" button to ask a question about how to use the Group.