This four-year Research in Service to Practice project will be conducted through a collaboration of informal education practitioners and learning scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and researchers at Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University. The setting for the work is GMRI’s LabVenture field trip program. Since 2005, LabVenture has annually hosted nearly 70% of Maine’s 5th/6th grade cohort in a 2.5 hour exploration of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. LabVenture is 100% free to schools, including travel, allowing equitable access by affluent and underserved communities alike. The LabVenture program has a strong focus on delivering both learning and experiential outcomes related to the role of data and scientific evidence in explorations of ecosystem change. Despite its longevity and success, previous research suggests that LabVenture faces a problem of practice encountered by many informal science learning programs: that some students have difficulty recalling and using scientific information and practices emphasized in the program, although doing so would further advance their science learning. The work proposed here will leverage research-based understandings regarding mechanisms to support the consolidation of memory and learning to create a generalizable model for enhancing informal science learning opportunities. See full SOW in internal documents.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/21 → 9/30/25|
- National Science Foundation (DRL-2115905)
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