Loyola University Chicago

Log Number: MG-77-16-0118-16

Researchers at Loyola University of Chicago and Northwestern University will partner with the Chicago children's Museum and the Evanston Public Library to conduct design-based research addressing the ways engineering experts incorporate the use of objects and oral narratives into inquiry-based STEM programs for families in libraries and museums. They will test timing and introduction of objects in conjunction with engineering experts' oral narratives; and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. The project will involve community experts, including students from Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, and members of the local tinkering and maker movement. The university and its partners will develop evidence-based and actionable recommendations and resources on project design based on the strengths and weaknesses recorded during the research. They will also create a set of codes that practitioners can use while observing children and families during programs. The codes will aid in program evaluation and in understanding the STEM learning process by highlighting key concepts in the words children and families use.