Cyberchase: Mobile Adventures in STEM – Report on a National Pilot of a Text Message-Based Family Learning Program

October 30th, 2019 | RESEARCH

How can creators of STEM learning media reach underserved parents and children, and support the kinds of playful STEM interactions that are foundational for future STEM learning?

This research report summarizes findings from a pilot study of Cyberchase: Mobile Adventures in STEM, a program that uses mobile text messaging and short videos to encourage hands-on family learning among low-income Latino families.     

In the study, 95 mostly Latino families received weekly text messages with video clips from the popular children's series Cyberchase, and fun activities to do with their children. The hands-on activities were on environmental themes like recycling, saving water, and observing local habitats. Families could share activity products like photos with other families online.

After 6 weeks, parents who used mobile media to engage with their children in these ways reported that family members had greater environmental awareness, undertook more conservation behaviors, and described a host of other benefits.

The report discusses implications for media producers and researchers in several areas — mobile text messaging as a platform for joint media engagement between parents and children, strategies for reaching low-income Latino families, and challenges in configuring social media sharing for families. 





Team Members

Bill Tally, Co-Principal Investigator, Education Development Center, Inc
Noah Goodman, Author, Education Development Center, Inc.
Jamie Kynn, Author, Education Development Center, Inc.


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713444
Funding Amount: $1,125,000

Related URLs

Combining Media and Messaging to Engage Underserved Families in STEM Learning: A Study


Access and Inclusion: English Language Learners | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities | Low Socioeconomic Status
Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Families | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers
Discipline: General STEM | Mathematics
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media