Conversational reflections about tinkering experiences in a children’s museum

July 18th, 2019 | RESEARCH

We examined the conversational reflections of 248 families with 6–11‐year‐old children shortly after they visited a tinkering exhibit. Our aim was to understand the conditions of tinkering and conversational reflection that can enhance STEM learning opportunities for young children.  We discuss implications for the design of tinkering and reflection activities that can both reveal and advance STEM learning.



Team Members

Lauren Pagano, Author, Loyola University Chicago
Catherine Haden, Author, Loyola University Chicago
David Uttal, Author, Northwestern University
Tsivia Cohen, Author, Chicago Children's Musuem


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1002/sce.21536

Publication: Science Education
Volume: 2019
Page(s): 1-20


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1516541

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1515771

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1515788

Related URLs

Collaborative Research: Advancing Early STEM Learning Opportunities Through Tinkering and Reflection


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Engineering | General STEM | Technology
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Making and Tinkering Programs | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Public Programs