This project is firmly situated within the Learning Sciences – the interdisciplinary field that aims to further scientific understanding of learning and engage in the design and implementation of learning innovations; focusing on the area of Informal Science Learning – the study of science learning processes and outcomes in informal settings such as science centres.
Bell et al. argue that a key challenge for science centres is to enable their visitors to link their emotional, sensory and cognitive interactions with the exhibits – known as multimodal experiences – to science-specific phenomena. This research aims to utilise the structure provided by inquiry-led scientific investigations to harness the engagement power of multimodal exhibits in science centres.
To achieve this aim, we will work with science centre educators, science teachers and young people (aged 12-16) to: co-design a Rapid Inquiry framework; elicit user requirements; co-design interaction components that integrate multimodal interactions with exhibits; develop an Inquirer app and evaluate its impact; and develop a set of technical requirements and pedagogical guidelines that will enable science centres to adopt rapid multimodal inquiry as a pedagogical approach. Partnerships with science centres in the UK, local secondary schools and after-school science clubs will be established to secure maximum practical value and dissemination.
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