Exploring Public Engagement with Real-time Experimentation in Different Public Venues

July 1st, 2012 - June 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

A team from Michigan State University, in partnership with six science, art-science, and art museum venues around the country and with the assistance of researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, is implementing an EAGER project to conduct ongoing experiments on the chemical precursors to life as exhibit experiences for visitors to these venues. The experiments, to be run over the course of several months as the exhibit travels around the country, expand on the 1950s' work of Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, which continues to stimulate new investigations and publications, including experiments being conducted on the International Space Station. The experiments/exhibits share key features across the three different kinds of venues, allowing the team to study and compare the impacts on the various publics of engaging them in real-time science experiments. Two major goals are (1) to explore new ways to attract public interest in science by performing in public settings previously untried experiments on the chemical precursors to life, and (2) to investigate how the context of different kinds of venues and their visitor characteristics affect how visitors interpret the experience and what they learn. The team is also exploring how various data visualization representations can be designed to foster public interest and understanding. The intent is to develop an approach that has potential applications to other STEM content domains and expanding the reach to broader public audiences.

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Project Products

Poster - Exploring Public Engagement With Real-Time Experimentation in Different Public Venues

Team Members

Michigan State University, Contributor
Robert Root-Bernstein, Principal Investigator, Michigan State University
Adam Brown, Co-Principal Investigator, Michigan State University
Maxine Davis, Author, Michigan State University


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1212365
Funding Amount: 295410


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Chemistry | Life science | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits