Informal learning & mobile computing

I work with colleagues at Penn State and beyond to conduct research on my  interests of: everyday science, parent-child interactions, designing for learning in informal institutions, the role of technology to support learning across settings, and gender issues that intersect with STEM disciplines.

I have four current projects. To see publications from these three projects, please navigate to the publication page.

  • In a study called families learning about ecology, I have conducted studies of intergenerational learning at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, the Arboretum at Penn State, and Pacific Science Center to study learning about ecology, earth sciences, and environmental sciences.
  • In a study called learning across science settings, I work with informal learning institutions, a badging project called Teachers’ Learning Journeys and a team of high school biology teachers to understand how everyday technologies can support people in learning over time and across multiple settings.
  • In an ethnographic study of the scientific and technological practices in one urban community, I work with colleagues from the LIFE Center’s Everyday Science and Technology Group at the University of Washington and University of Michigan. Using a data corpus of hundreds of hours of fieldwork from a team ethnography, I create analytical accounts of how children from one elementary school learn to do science every day, as well as accounts of how scientific practices fit into their everyday activities. Through this inquiry into science-related practices, I elucidate what the words “science” and “scientist” mean to youth and analyze how these developing understandings of science impact children’s views of themselves and their interests in continuing with science.

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