Seeing as a Scientist

August 1st, 2014 - July 31st, 2015 | PROJECT

Natural History museums have identified a need to transform their traditional spaces into vital forces for science education. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) will implement “Seeing as a Scientist,” a design-based research initiative to develop and test gallery interventions that have the potential to increase scientific observation skills for family groups. Working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE), CMNH will pilot a series of quick changes and additions to dioramas and outline expectations for each. Visitors will be observed to measure the degree of engagement in scientific observation (deliberate looking in order to understand visual evidence)--an essential skill for learning across scientific disciplines. The four most promising interventions will be evaluated to determine which are most successful in providing the necessary support for families to establish shared focus and two-way, science-based conversation. The project will include a blog to share information and to disseminate the results to other museums.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Chelsey Pucka, Principal Investigator, Carnegie Institute


Funding Source: IMLS
Funding Program: Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums
Award Number: LG-45-14-0004-14
Funding Amount: $25,000


Audience: Families | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | Life science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions | Projects
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits