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Natural History museums have identified a need to transform their traditional spaces into vital forces for science education. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) will implement “Seeing as a Scientist,” a design-based research initiative to develop and test gallery interventions that have the potential to increase scientific observation skills for family groups. Working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE), CMNH will pilot a series of quick changes and additions to dioramas and outline expectations for each. Visitors will be observed to measure the degree of engagement in scientific observation (deliberate looking in order to understand visual evidence)--an essential skill for learning across scientific disciplines. The four most promising interventions will be evaluated to determine which are most successful in providing the necessary support for families to establish shared focus and two-way, science-based conversation. The project will include a blog to share information and to disseminate the results to other museums.
The Chilkat Indian Village will conduct a yearlong project to increase the capacity of tribal members to implement museum best practices and install a traditional whale house exhibit using original objects at the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center. Staff from the Alaska State Museum will train tribal members in professional collection handling, interpretation, and exhibit installation. Tribal members will create the interpretive content and work with a consultant to design and install the exhibit using the traditional layout of the whale house interior and original objects. The Whale House exhibit will preserve the Whale House collection and enable the Chilkat Tlingits to share their history, art, and cultural practices with tribal members, clan members, and all audiences viewing the installation.
The Muscogee Creek Nation Museum, Archives, and Cultural Center will develop a comprehensive collections management program, purchase archival supplies, and enhance the museum’s digital infrastructure. Project activities will support the preservation of collections and improve access to more than 3,000 objects, photographs, and archival materials. This project will facilitate the ongoing care of current artifacts, serve as a foundation for future curatorial endeavors, enable the museum to acquire new items, and allow for a systematic organization of the collection. As a result, the museum will be able to increase accessibility for Muscogee tribal citizens and the public and better serve its mission to advance the presentation and knowledge of Muscogee culture—past, present, and future.
The Tonkawa Tribe will conduct a yearlong project to preserve the Tonkawa language through outreach to youth. With only a few Tonkawa native language speakers alive, this project is focused on teaching the language to children by developing a coloring book with simple pictures and Tonkawa words, a pronunciation guide, and an audio CD with words pronounced by a Tonkawa native language speaker. These materials will be delivered to caregivers at Tonkawa home daycares, Tonkawa Elementary Public School students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and students in the Tonkawa tribal afterschool program. The project will expose tribal members and non-tribal members to Tonkawa language and culture to help preserve the Tonkawa language for future generations.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indian’s John Hair Museum will build the capacity of staff in museum operations and improve the management of the tribal archive. Staff will participate in professional development opportunities to increase their understanding of museum procedures and operations, and a consultant will be hired to assist staff members in establishing policies and procedures for the archives including care, handling, storage and exhibition of materials. Grant funds will be used to purchase storage equipment and implement an archival monitoring program to ensure long-term preservation and access to Keetoowah tribal history.
The Strong will complete fabrication and installation of Miniature Worlds, a 2,500-square-foot thematic zone within its new "America at Play" exhibit, the first-ever historical exhibit overview of play in the United States. The Miniature Worlds zone will be enhanced by a range of school lessons for children in pre-K to grade 8, and hundreds of images of the featured artifacts will be added to the museum's online collection of nearly 50,000 artifacts. The installation of the Miniature Worlds zone will give the public a chance to interact with one of the largest diversified collections of miniature settings for pretend and to learn more about how the artifacts relate to American social and cultural history.
The Memorial Hall Museum will create "Impressions from a Lost World," an array of programs to engage regional, national, and tourist audiences in learning about the history of the 1835 dinosaur track discoveries along the Connecticut River Valley. The museum will prototype, pilot, and finalize maps, museum programs, and educational materials for activities such as the hands-on traveling Jurassic Roadshow presentations and self-guided tours of the museum. These programs will aid in the development and launching of a large-scale website for sustained in-depth learning beyond the programming opportunity. "Impressions of a Lost World" will help to enhance tourism, local community pride, and awareness of the region's dinosaur track discovery–including its history, importance, the contributions that everyday people made.
The Museum of Innovation and Science will deliver hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) experiences to underserved youth and their families in afterschool and out-of-school time in collaboration with the member libraries of the Mohawk Valley Library System. The museum will deliver three STEM programs, astronomy content, and tabletop experiment stations to library visitors at each of the 23 member libraries. This project will help bring STEM awareness and interest to audiences in groups typically underrepresented in the STEM fields.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will plan and design a new, audience-driven experience in the center's main exhibit, the 1871 Harriet Beecher Stowe House, to create a forum for learning and conversation. This project will encourage 21st century civic engagement by inspiring audiences to learn from the past and take action on issues that matter to them today. The traditional guided tour will be replaced with an engaging experience in a combination of period rooms and non-period gallery-style rooms to provide visitors an experience that is memorable, authentic, and offers opportunities for self-exploration. Connecting the past to the present, the exhibit will serve as a safe place for discussing difficult subjects and for learning more about the issues that were relevant to Stowe and the issues that still persist today.
The Missouri Botanical Garden will work with six urban schools, to create new educational opportunities for teachers and students who use the garden's institutional research as a foundation for STEM Programming (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Students in the program will focus on one of three core garden research themes: medicinal uses of plants, plants as a food source, or the ecological value of plants. Anchored by multiple field experiences at the garden and its satellite sites, follow up programming, and teacher professional development, the program will be aligned with state standards to address concerns with student proficiency in the STEM disciplines.
The Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University will create a new field trip program for schoolchildren in kindergarten through twelfth grade to keep museum education and informal learning experiences at the forefront of standards-based education for Montana's schools. The project will increase the museum's capacity to reach more students each year, create guides for teachers and students, and increase the number of Montana State University student-led field trip programs. Results of this research will be shared with other informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs statewide to increase the quality and relevance of all informal education experiences available to Montana schoolchildren.
Philipsburg Manor will design and execute “Traders and Raiders,” a three-pronged project employing the latest gaming and digital learning methodologies to teach end users about transatlantic trade, piracy, and how Philipsburg Manor, a National Historic Landmark site in Sleepy Hollow, NY, played a role in this vast and complex system. Developers will create free digital experiences including a free learning game for children ages 8-12, a mobile treasure hunt for children ages 4-7 to enhance the onsite experience at Philipsburg Manor, and detailed webpages for adults. The project will engage visitors in interactive and self-directed learning to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of history.
The Long Island Children's Museum will undertake the second phase of its Theater Program Expansion Project by strengthening service to its core audiences: families and schools. The museum will work with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau to connect new families to its theater, offer free access to theater programs and parent workshops for Spanish- and Haitian-Creole-speaking families participating in the museum's kindergarten readiness program, make performance activities available online, and support teachers in addressing state arts standards through the content of performances, educator materials, and pre-visit and post-performance programs. The project will nurture current and future audiences' awareness and support of the performing arts, support the development of pertinent 21st century skills, and strengthen relevant connections for educators and families between the content of theater performances and state standards.
Vermont Historical Society (VHS) will undertake a project to research and document the political, social, and cultural changes of the 1970s in Vermont to create a body of primary resources for this period in Vermont's state history. VHS will record a minimum of 50 oral histories from participants of the 1970s counter-culture movement and collect documents and artifacts for its museum and library collections. These materials will be preserved and made accessible by VHS for future research, and will be used in a physical and online exhibit, a symposium, and a variety of statewide public programs in collaboration with partnering organizations.
Armory Center for the Arts will develop, deliver, and evaluate "Artful Connections with Science," an innovative new visual arts-science integrated curriculum for the fourth and fifth grade levels in the Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. "Artful Connections with Science" will provide support to the education community at a critical juncture as California adopts the Next Generation Science Standards. It will also enable the center to build organizational capacity for the delivery of arts-integration curriculum in multiple districts, thus increasing sustainability and helping to improve lives through the power of art.
B&O Railroad Museum will design and develop a permanent exhibit focusing on railway safety, the history of rail safety, and the individuals who keep railways safe. Through the use of life-size dioramas, historic artifacts, photos, archival documents, and interactive learning stations, the exhibit will be an educational tool for visitors to learn about the evolution of railroad safety and the role of organized labor, proper ways to engage rail systems, and gain an understanding of the safety tools and signs as well as the jobs of different railroaders. The exhibit will also be incorporated as a mandatory visit component for school groups utilizing the museum's History Passport Program, a free admission program for students.
The Wild Center will design and implement an innovative learning experience through new installations on Wild Walk, an elevated walkway that runs through the Adirondack forest. The museum will also design and lead interpretive training for staff, interns and volunteers, and draft and test interpretive programs. Exhibits will include a thirty-foot-high rope net "Spiders Web" suspended above the ground; "Squirrel Run," a series of suspended bridges that lead from the main walk; a two-story Tree House which will house multiple exhibits on wildlife and people-nature relationships; and a model Tree Snag that is 40 feet high and 12 feet in diameter. The museum aims to enhance audiences' understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts through dynamic learning experiences and interactive exhibits offered through an elevated view of the forest. The learning experiences and resources will foster an appreciation of being active in nature and promote the philosophy that spending time outdoors is a valuable part of our lives.
The New England Wild Flower Society will develop an engaging, easily accessible curriculum of introductory online courses in botany, plant ecology, and native plant horticulture, which will be made available to conservation and educational organizations throughout the Northeastern U.S. via a new digital portal. These comprehensive classes in plant science will be available online for diverse lifelong learners and will incorporate classroom, online, and field participation by students; foster connections among students and mentors; and create a rich suite of learning opportunities.
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will plan, implement, and evaluate educational programming for its upcoming garden-wide exhibition, "Frida Kahlo's Garden." The programming and interpretation will create an immersive, compelling, interdisciplinary learning experience that merges arts, humanities, and science themes. Programming will celebrate Mexican culture, immersing visitors in the music, dance, food, and fashion that influenced Kahlo and continues to inspire people today. Through the exhibit and programming, visitors will gain insight into the impact of Kahlo's interest in the natural world on her artwork; understand the continuing impact of Mexican nature, nationalism, and intellectual history on arts and culture; and make personal connections between art, nature, and their own lives. The project will also provide a model for other botanical gardens to use to create interdisciplinary exhibitions.
The Palo Alto Art Center is partnering with the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo to develop a series of four artist residencies, each involving an artist who explores the natural world in his or her artwork, and exhibitions of artwork created during the residencies. The museums will address the challenge of successfully integrating art and science to enhance learning in museum contexts. During each exhibition, public programming will focus on the artwork and its scientific and environmental context, engaging a broad audience in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) based activities. The project will also serve as a model demonstrating the success of education through effective collaboration between an art museum and a science museum.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden will develop “Living Classrooms,” a new way to enrich and expand their informal education through live interpretation. The program will ensure that all visitors are given the opportunity to engage in meaningful ways with plants and learn how plants connect to their lives. Through “Living Classrooms,” BBG will redesign and expand its drop-in Discovery Programs, create comprehensive self-guided materials for families and school groups, train staff and volunteer Garden Guides and Discovery Docents to use dialogue-based techniques, and create new topical tours that will engage BBG’s growing and diverse audience. By placing the learner at the center and delivering reimagined programs, the garden will help visitors connect plant science, conservation, sustainability, and ecosystem to the context of their own lives so that they might be inspired to become active stewards of the environment.
The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) will develop strategies and resources for modeling, fostering, and assessing creativity that can be practiced and sustained in pre-K through grade 12 learning environments as part of its "Making Creativity Visible Initiative." Reflecting the museum's shift to focus efforts on creativity as an important skill to prepare today's students for successful and productive lives in the 21st century, the project will support in-depth research, evaluation, design, delivery of high-quality programming and tools to promote creative thinking for a wide range of learners. It will also provide training and capacity building for CMA staff, docents, and Central Ohio educators to more effectively and intentionally impact the creativity of the community.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens will develop educational programming and fabricate and install exhibits in its 1794 Boys' School site to create a new visitor experience. The new educational programming will combine traditional interpretation by costumed guides with interactive exhibits and objects to engage 21st century visitors in meaningful ways. This project will turn the site into a thriving learning center that more fully tells the story of education in Salem—the important role that education played among its residents, both men and women; the relevance of 18th and 19th century lessons to modern-day curricula; and career options in early Salem.
The Children's Museum of Manhattan will implement and evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive, six-month onsite program and performance series presented as part of its "Hello from Japan!" exhibition. The museum will evaluate three core programs: the effectiveness of its daily, hands-on workshops, conducted in the exhibition space that explore contemporary and traditional Japanese culture for families; six monthly festivals that explore various aspects of contemporary and traditional Japanese culture in depth; and 24 music, dance and theater performances highlighting both contemporary and traditional Japanese performing arts. The project will result in an evaluation report and best practices guide that will serve as a valuable resource to the museum staff and to other museums throughout the country developing culture programs.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will make its adult education and engagement program, "YBCA:YOU,", much more robust so that it can serve an increasing number of participants. "YBCA:YOU" is a series of activities that include an onsite participation phase involving attendance at a self-curated series of arts events and participatory activities. In this phase, the center aims to increase participants' level of aesthetic awareness, capability, and appreciation of contemporary art and offer at least 50 YBCA:YOU exclusive events each year—from artist lectures and discussion groups to the center's signature Art Savvy and Smart Night Out workshops. This program will help to establish a framework for creating a community of engaged, creative citizens who gain experiential learning, critical knowledge, and aesthetic development from the art, the artists, and the programs of the center, and from each other.
The Mütter Museum will develop a new interactive online exhibit that explores the important role of medicine in American history through its unique collections. In keeping with the museum's broader medical humanities focus, the online exhibit will be presented thematically in a life cycle sequence. Representative objects will include obstetrical forceps, an iron lung, a surgical kit, William Harvey's book on blood circulation De Motu Cordis, eyeglasses, a tooth extractor, and an embalming kit. The museum will also develop a curriculum that addresses national secondary school education standards in history, science, and health by utilizing narrative stories, specimens, models, medical tools, photographs, and texts from collections. Exploring historic events and their health and medical underpinnings through an interesting narrative lens will engage audiences in critical STEM topics by connecting personal stories to the objects actually used to understand disease and heal people.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center will provide an in-depth gallery experience for 3rd and 4th grade students, community tours of the cultural and historical significance of the Muckenthaler home and family, and exhibit-related arts education outreach programs for two local Fullerton Boys and Girls Clubs. An exhibit-related free arts workshop and a curriculum guide for students and teachers which can be accessed by QR code will also be developed. This project will provide educational opportunities for local 3rd and 4th grade students to meet the Visual and Performing Arts Standards and the Social Studies Standards while giving at-risk and underserved students access to arts education.
Historic Cherry Hill will develop a public programming initiative entitled "Outdoor Life," focusing on the museum's landscape to attract new audiences and better connect the museum with the local Albany community. The museum will create interactive and relevant learning experiences linking history, agriculture, and nature in four program components: a summer camp for families and children, a garden program for teens, a community event focusing on pets, and a garden lecture geared towards landscape and social history enthusiasts. Community groups and residents will participate in program development, which will create lasting partnerships and make the museum more responsive to community needs, resulting in dynamic and relevant programming.
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will expand its "ARTworks" education program by sending museum-sanctioned artist instructors into 100 public school 3rd and 4th grade classrooms in eastern Idaho to teach grade-relevant lessons aligned with the Idaho Humanities Achievement Standards. The lessons will be related to current museum exhibits and provide hands-on exploration of 2- or 3-dimensional art processes, art history, and art appreciation. The ARTworks program will play an important role in strengthening critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and self-direction among students.
The Moffatt-Ladd House will undertake a comprehensive project to develop onsite and online learning experiences and resources for students in grades 9-12 centered on the issues addressed by the 1779 Petition of Freedom. Teacher workshops and online resources will help teachers use curriculum sets, which will include supporting documents and images for crafting answers to document-based questions, and dramatic re-imaginings of the genesis of the petition and the white community's reaction to it. The project aims to actively involve students of divergent learning styles in gaining an enhanced understanding of the institution of American slavery as it existed in the Revolutionary era. Participants in teacher workshops will evaluate the sessions and their applicability to teaching with the curriculum sets. Teachers and project staff will evaluate the program as it is tested in the classroom and online, and staff and consultants will refine the program to respond to these evaluations.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will hire an external evaluation team to conduct and publish an evaluation study of the museum's new 80,000-square-foot wing, the Nature Research Center, to document the broad impact of the center's created learning experience for visitors. The evaluation will capture museum program inefficiencies, and provide remediation suggestions, which will enhance current and future programs. Program enhancements, in turn, will provide more impactful experiences for visitors and inspire them to take on an active role in learning science and becoming literate in STEM fields.
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will partner with ACTION-Housing on a project titled "Making Experiences for Post-Foster Care Youth" to provide hands-on, interest-driven learning experiences that help youth, especially at-risk youth aging out of the foster care system, become the innovators of tomorrow. The partners will design and develop a safe, supportive, permanent makerspace within a community-based residential home for young adults, and a complementary program of facilitated making experiences, career workshops, and paid internships will help youth gain much-needed 21st century and tangible making skills. This project will provide opportunities to help youth discover their future potential, explore their passions, and build confidence and coping tools through making.
The Florida Aquarium will create a Gulf-focused seafood education program that will deliver current information on seafood choices that help ensure abundant future populations of fish. The aquarium will form an advisory council to provide ongoing Gulf seafood recommendations, produce a pocket-sized "Gulf Seafood Guide," refine and expand its Restaurant Partner Program, create a Commercial Partner Program for non-restaurant businesses, increase the sustainable seafood educational content on its website, and host World Oceans Day/Seafood Now Awareness Days to reach an even broader audience. The combination of educational products and events will enable the aquarium to reach the public with current information and allow consumers to take a positive role in helping preserve the Gulf through their purchases.
Adams Museum and House will address a backlog of collections accessioning and cataloging to improve accessibility to its collections by upgrading its collections management software, hiring a registrar, and investing in storage supplies. The museum will also offer a series of three public workshops focusing on collections care and management in the museum and for family heirlooms. By expanding on a past project that created a fully integrated database system to manage the institution's artifact and historic photograph collections, the museum is seeking to meet standards in the Stewardship of Collections section of the American Association for State and Local History's Standards and Excellence Program (STEPS). The project will make the museum's entire collection far more accessible, ensuring staff can make informed decisions benefiting future exhibits, publications, programs and research.
The California Association of Museums (CMA)'s Continuum for Collaborative Learning initiative will increase the museum field's knowledge about public engagement and accessibility, identify questions that need to be answered on the topic through future collaborative applied research, and test a model for activating a statewide learning community. Public engagement and accessibility was identified by museum practitioners as a critical topic for this collaborative learning network to explore. Through regional study groups, online and in-person activities, and the co-production and dissemination of "knowledge products" on the topic, the project will both better prepare California museums to meet evolving external community and visitor needs and serve as a model for other museum associations.
The Museum of Science will launch the "Collaboration for Ongoing Visitor Experience Studies" (COVES) project to construct an infrastructure for collaboration, which will unite science centers across the country in the systematic collection, analysis, and reporting of visitor experience data. The COVES program will develop common instruments for studying visitors in science museums and provide staff training on how to use these instruments and how to make sense of findings. The collaborative effort will enable participating science centers to become data-driven organizations focused on their audiences and will allow museums to learn from one another.
A cooperative agreement between IMLS and the BUILD Initiative will create deliberate and mutually beneficial connections between the efforts of museums and libraries and those of early childhood systems’ builders to support the growth and development of children from birth to age eight, with an emphasis on children from birth to age five. The partnership will build relationships across the fields/sectors and embed connections in ways that can be replicated and sustained. All objectives will be achieved through engagement with library, museum and early learning leaders in five pilot states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington.
The grant will support an 18-month project in five states and in partnership with Washington State Library and Thrive by Five Washington, two leaders in that state’s early learning efforts. The aim of the new program will be to introduce a new service model to public libraries for library staff to deliver interactive programs for young children that will impact early childhood literacy. Thousands of U.S. public libraries offer programs, such as story time, for young children and are already attuned to early literacy best practices. The methodology and tools used in this model were researched, designed and tested by the University of Washington, and piloted in 20 libraries in collaboration with Washington State Library from 2009 to 2014. The results showed that intentional focus on early literacy skills improved results for young children. The new service model, based on the rigorously researched and field-tested approach, can now be applied broadly to augment the efficacy of current library programs.
This award to the College of Menominee Nation (CMN, together with an additional award of $92,466 to the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison (SLIS), will support a collaborative project to address early learning. SLIS is has deep knowledge of early learning research and CMS has deep expertise in knowing what works best for people who are impoverished and have low literacy. As partners, they will build on this foundation to develop a model for early literacy programs, especially for rural, Native American communities.
Brooklyn Public Library, in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority and the Center for Educational Pathways, will implement “Read! Write! Create!,” a literacy program focused on comic book creation, which targets families with children between the ages five and nine who reside in three public housing developments and the surrounding low-income neighborhoods. The program, which supports the goals of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and addresses literacy skills in New York State’s Common Core Learning Standards, will reach 600 children and their caregivers over two years through a series of drop-in workshops. Dissemination to the profession will extend the project’s benefits to additional communities.
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning will use its grant to implement, “Successful Early Eco-literacy Development” (SEED), a project-based learning curriculum that will focus on local food and cultivation practices and nutrition in order to increase childhood literacy. The program will specifically address the need to close the reading gap for third grade students on Majuro in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This program will address the achievement gap that separates many Pacific Island students from their U.S. mainland peers by bringing together libraries and museums to collaborate in support of student literacy. The project impact will close the gap in literacy, raise the reading standard, and ensure that all children have the necessary supports to meet the new higher standards.
Westport Library, with its partners, Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and Connecticut State Library - Division of Library Development (CSL-DLD), and with SPARK! Consulting, will introduce a new model of maker space in libraries and a way to systematically integrate the culture of interactive "making" into the library profession. Westport will introduce a culture of innovation, while honoring the needs of more traditional libraries. There will be self-directed, hands-on maker experiences; maker workshops; and makers-in-residence who will support workshops and innovation labs on topics such as robotics, LED quilt creations, and tinkering with home electronics repairs. The library will also create Interactive Innovation Stations (iStations) to introduce people to the concepts and techniques of innovative thinking. It will be an environment where people can experiment, take calculated risks, and work collaboratively.
VISA: Veterans Information Services Assistance, developed by the College of DuPage (COD), will increase veterans’ information literacy, research skills, and awareness of library resources to increase their chances for college success. VISA responds to the need for dedicated academic support and understanding of veterans, a growing population of college students who often struggle with their return to campus life. The project includes the piloting of a two-hour information literacy course, increasing access to technology and technology instruction, a mentoring program, a computer station in the veterans’ lounge area, staff development sessions and a webinar to help employees understand the transition needs of veteran students, an e-newsletter, and a survey to determine the next steps in continuing to provide for veteran students’ needs.
Purdue University will develop CrowdAsk - A Crowdsource Library Help System, a web-based help system for academic libraries. CrowdAsk will allow librarians, students, and faculty to ask and answer questions about library resources and tools. CrowdAsk will also support ranking of questions and answers by users as well as the use of scores and badges for user motivation. The project addresses issues of existing fragmented library and academic help channels, content reuse and preservation, and lack of user (particularly expert) participation. CrowdAsk will be open source and shared with the public. It will impact the way users interact with libraries, as well as promote better understanding and use of library resources. The project will give users power to support others in getting research help.
The American Association of School Libraries will host a national forum to determine if a causal relationship exists between strong school library programs and student academic achievement. The forum will lead to the creation of an interdisciplinary, networked community of researchers focused on causal research in school libraries that meet the rigorous criteria for scientifically based empirical research. While past studies have suggested a correlation between school libraries staffed by professional school librarians and containing adequate resources to increased student achievement, further progress requires the more rigorous experimental design of causal studies. Fifty invited scholars from the school library and related research fields will participate in the forum, which will lead to the publication of a white paper that will guide further inquiry on this topic.
This award to the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison (SLIS), together with an additional award of $100,000 to the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) will support a collaborative project to address early learning. SLIS is has deep knowledge of early learning research and CMS has deep expertise in knowing what works best for people who are impoverished and have low literacy. As partners, they will build on this foundation to develop a model for early literacy programs, especially for rural, Native American communities.
The L.C. Bates Museum will collaborate with second grade teachers to bring science and art education programs to 14 schools, and offer family activities and fieldtrips for rural, mostly low-income second graders and their families. Designed to support both the schools’ curriculum and enhance lifelong community learning, the initiative will provide interactive programs to increase academic success for children with diverse learning styles and special needs. The museum will bring a series of 10 educational programs to 40 classrooms each year; sponsor 16 family fieldtrips to the museum; loan four science/art literacy boxes to teachers; film and broadcast two cable television programs on the project; and develop two museum exhibits showcasing the students’ work. The project will strengthen museum/school collaborations to support learning, and enable family access to the arts, museum, and outdoor activities to build understanding and stewardship of the community’s natural environment.
The Newark Museum will conceptualize and develop a new Exploration Center, a space that will engage new and traditional audiences in a process of learning enhanced through use of touchable objects, hands-on activities, and interactive interpretive approaches. The museum will design and evaluate interactive programming for these spaces that will make use of the museum’s teaching collection of touchable objects, and design and fabricate a new physical ‘launching point’ space called the Touch Base, intended to provide visitors with resources to connect with collection objects and the rest of the museum. The results of this project will guide the museum’s future programming design and establish a culture of visitor-centered learning.
Building on early childhood research, the Lawrence Hall of Science will develop activities to engage children ages 4-7 in “design thinking.” Engineering design activities use hands-on learning to promote design thinking and 21st century skills. The project will incorporate the new activities into existing programs and train staff and volunteer educators in effective strategies to engage families and young children. The project will result in several products to be disseminated to the field, including a research-based effective practices framework for developing design experiences for young children in museums; a set of engineering design activities for early learners; a facilitator professional development program; and research and evaluation reports. Design Thinking through Play will contribute to the research and evidence base regarding the learning potential of these methodologies to nurture the habits and mindset of engineers and innovators.
The Please Touch Museum will use its grant to develop an interactive mobile communications application and website that will serve as a tool to support families through the kindergarten transition years. The mobile application will translate existing resource literature and tools, such as a readiness checklist, activity calendar, and parent-child activities into a digital format. A website, containing the same components as the mobile application, will be created to ensure the resources reach the widest audience possible. The project will establish and work with a network of partners in the Philadelphia area to help determine which resources will best benefit users of the app and website.