Creating a Program to Deepen Family Inquiry at Interactive Science Exhibits

July 1st, 2009 | RESEARCH

A team of researchers and practitioners developed a museum program to coach families in the skills of scientific inquiry at interactive exhibits. The program was inspired by the increasing focus on scientific inquiry in schools and the growing number of open-ended exhibit designs in science museums. The development process involved major decisions in two arenas: which inquiry skills to teach, and what pedagogical strategies to use to teach them. After many rounds of refinement based on evaluation with families, the final program, called Inquiry Games, improved visitors' inquiry behavior in several ways and was rated as very enjoyable by them. This article emphasizes the design process and insights that arose from it.


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Team Members

Exploratorium, Contributor
Sue Allen, Author, Allen and Associates
Josh Gutwill, Author, Exploratorium


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 2151-6952

Publication: Curator: The Museum Journal
Volume: 52
Number: 3
Page(s): 289


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: REESE
Award Number: 0411826
Funding Amount: 1256847

Related URLs

Full Text
Facilitating Group Scientific Inquiry Using Science Museum Exhibits


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Families | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Physics
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs