Learning Science within Informal Environments

October 15th, 2005 - September 30th, 2009 | PROJECT

The National Research Council, through its Board on Science Education, will carry out a synthesis study of informal science learning based on a workshop funded by a prior NSF planning grant. The intellectual merit of this project is based on the formation of a committee of experts representative of the diversity of the field who will engage in a fact-finding process on learning science in informal settings, deliberate about the evidence and produce a major report that will be published by the National Academies Press. The study will describe the status of knowledge in the field currently, articulate a common framework for the next generation of research on informal science learning and provide guidance to the community of practice. By presenting what we know about the characteristics of effective informal science learning environments across a range of outcome measures, the study will achieve broader impacts by assisting practitioners, policymakers and researchers in directing their efforts towards realizing the potential of informal science education for advancing public science literacy.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits
How Might Native Science Inform "Informal Science Learning"?
How Might Native Science Inform "Informal Science Learning"? (Commissioned Paper)
Diverse Learning and Learner Diversity in "Informal" Science Learning Environments
Assessing Learning in Informal Science Contexts
Evaluation of learning in informal learning environments
Lifelong Learning and Technology
Interest and Motivation in Informal Science Learning
Media-Based Learning Science in Informal Environments
Informal Science Learning in Afterschool Settings: A Natural Fit?

Team Members

Heidi Schweingruber, Principal Investigator, National Academy of Sciences
C. Jean Moon, Former Principal Investigator, National Academy of Sciences


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0545947
Funding Amount: 1376000


Audience: Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Public Programs