Children’s Questions, Worries, and Information Needs A Year Into the COVID-19 Pandemic. A study based on listeners of the children’s science podcast. Full Report.

March 13th, 2021 | RESEARCH

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world continues to struggle with the many ways our lives have changed and the uncertainty that remains about the future. Vaccines are being widely administered, but how and when life will return to “normal” remains unknown. During this time, caregivers continue to seek out information to address the questions, worries, and information needs their children have about this unique moment in their lives. Our NSF-funded RAPID research project has helped to uncover some of these questions, worries, and needs by talking to caregivers of listeners of the children’s science podcast Brains On!. The first phase of our research gathered data from families in June 2020. The second, and final phase, of our research, reported here, gathered survey data in January 2021 from 537 caregivers of children ages 5­­ to 12 years old who listen to the children’s podcast Brains On!. Our research revealed important insights into the kinds of questions children are asking a year into the pandemic, the worries they have, and the types of support caregivers need in order to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic with their children.  We hope our research findings can inform the development of coronavirus-related educational resources responsive to the information and learning needs of families during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as help create educational resources that are adaptable to future global crises.



Team Members

Amy Grack Nelson, Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Evelyn Ronning, Co-Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Scott Van Cleave, Contributor, Science Museum of Minnesota


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: RAPID
Award Number: 2029209
Funding Amount: $200,000

Related URLs

RAPID: Addressing Families' Covid-19 Information and Education Needs Through Podcast Media


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Pre-K Children (0-5)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Health and medicine
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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