CAISE Seeks Examples Of University Research Being Done In Science Museum Settings

February 24th, 2014

Through our Broader Impacts & Informal Science Education (BI-ISE) Initiative, CAISE has been exploring opportunities for research scientists and their education/public outreach staff to conduct “broader impacts” activities in informal learning settings. However, informal settings aren’t only effective and engaging places for researchers to share their work with the public — they can also be places for scientists to actually conduct research through interaction with the public, allowing visitors to become active participants in the research activities. This is different from the research that happens in settings like natural history museums, where scientists do research work with collections — rather, in these settings, universities and other research institutions partner with informal learning institutions to mutually benefit from shared resources. Some examples of this include Living Laboratory® first piloted at the Museum of Science in Boston, the multi-faceted partnership between Ohio State University and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), and the partnership between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and NC State University encompassing grant-funded, collaborative citizen science projects and innovative educational programs in the Museum’s “Investigate Labs”. We are looking for additional examples of this kind of work, which could be documented as a project description on, be featured in a future blog post on this topic, or other contribute to other activities as part of the BI-ISE initiative. If you have something to share, please contact us.