Project WISE: Working in Informal Science Education

September 1st, 2007 - August 31st, 2011 | PROJECT

John Carroll University, Cleveland's International Women's Air and Space Museum and Cleveland Public Schools are partnering in a three-year project to provide a cross-age, collaborative exhibit development experience to increase young peoples' science understanding and interest in science and teaching careers. The program exposes 120+ high school and undergraduate women to the skills of educational program planning and implementation. Content includes science, technology, engineering and math related to flight, and the history and role of women in flight related careers. The project proposes a highly supportive learning environment with museum, science and education experts working alongside students at secondary and undergraduate levels to design exhibits that will meet the interest and needs of the museum, and the young children and families from Cleveland schools who visit. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, the evaluation will measure change in participant career interests, content understanding and perception of science, technology, engineering and math subjects, and skill development in presenting these concepts to public audience members. Public and professional audience experiences will also be evaluated. More than nine hundred local elementary school age children, their families and 15,000 general public audience members will participate in student-designed, museum-based exhibits and programs. Deliverables include a model for university/museum partnerships in providing exhibit development and science learning experiences, three team-developed permanent exhibits about flight and women in science, a set of biographies about women and flight in DVD format and three annual museum based community events. The model program will be informed by national advisors from museum/university partners across the United States who will attend workshops in connection with the projects public presentations in years one and two. These meetings will both provide opportunities to reflect on the program progress and to develop new strategies in the evolution of the program design. Workshop participants will develop plans to implement similar programs in their home locations, impacting another layer of public audiences. The transferability of the model to these new sites will be measured in year three of the proposal. An additional 25,000 participants are expected to be impacted in the five years following the grant period. Beyond the implementation sites, the model's impact will be disseminated by the PI and participants in the program through peer reviewed journals and presentations at national conferences.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Gregory DiLisi, Principal Investigator, John Carroll University


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0638909
Funding Amount: 493600


Access and Inclusion: Women and Girls
Audience: Adults | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Engineering | General STEM | History | policy | law | Mathematics | Physics | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Museum and Science Center Exhibits