Move2Learn: Engaging Preschool Scientists through Embodiment and Technology

December 1st, 2014 - November 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

This is a Science Learning+ planning project that will develop a research plan for investigating how applying the principles of embodied cognition to the design of informal learning environments can support young children's (ages 2-6) engagement with, and understanding of, science topics and concepts. While it has been fairly well established that cognition is intertwined with the body's interaction in the physical world, the precise means of applying these ideas to the design of effective learning environments is still emerging. Experimenting with various embodied cognition activities and physical learning configurations to understand what conditions are optimal for informal learning environments for early learners is a major objective of this project. During the planning grant period, the project will identity additional practitioner/research collaborations and will develop research plans for a suite of studies to be enacted by multiple teams of informal learning practitioners and cognitive scientists across the US and UK and that will be submitted as a Phase 2 research. The primary activities of this planning period include organizing a series of workshops that bring together informal learning educators and embodied cognition researchers to engage in deep discussion and design experimentation that will inform the development and refinement of research questions, protocols, and measurement tools. These discussions will be informed by observations of young children as they interact with the River of Grass, an exhibit prototype in which principles of embodied cognition are embedded in its design. The planning period will be led by a collaborative team of informal learning practitioners and cognitive scientists from the US and UK. This group will also oversee plans for the development of a new model for informal STEM research in which a constellation of practitioner/research teams across multiple organizations investigates topics of importance to informal learning practice and research that have the potential to result in a robust body of research that informs the design of informal learning spaces.

Project Website(s)

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Project Products

Brochure - Move2Learn: Engaging Preschool Scientists through Embodiment and Technology

Team Members

Judy Brown, Principal Investigator, The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science
Andrew Manches, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Edinburgh
H Chad Lane, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Sean Duran, Co-Principal Investigator
Robb Lindgren, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: Science Learning+ Phase One
Award Number: 1451290
Funding Amount: $115,000


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Pre-K Children (0-5) | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Health and medicine
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Informal | Formal Connections | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops