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The High Desert Museum, partnering with Oregon State University and the Deschutes Public Library, will explore how STEM experts can use personal storytelling and hands-on object-based activities to support STEM learning with rural families and children, ages 6-10. Their research will examine how the processes of inquiry and problem solving are embedded in the life stories of experts and what specific story components best shape family conversations during inquiry-based activities. Cohorts of families will participate in workshops on mammalian carnivore populations of the Deschutes National Forest that will include STEM expert storytelling and facilitated activities. The partners will collect data to examine changing STEM attitudes, engagement, and perception of the expert. The research project will result in a model for inquiry-based STEM programs delivered by experts at museums and libraries. It will also lead to a better understanding of how museums and libraries can best form and maintain partnerships with STEM experts.