Exploring Connections to Science and Engineering Practices with Visitors During Prototyping At a Natural History Museum

Instructor with student at Mineral display table in the Museum's Hall of Gems and Minerals.


Wallace, J. & Hammerness, K. (2019, March). Exploring connections to science and engineering practices with visitors during prototyping at a natural history museum. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Baltimore, MD.


Using evaluation data, this presentation explores visitors' connections to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science practices during two prototyping events. Both prototyping events featured facilitated stations and provided activities and learning experiences for visitors focused around different content: insects, and minerals and gems. Overall, evidence from the evaluations indicate that even visitors' brief interactions at prototyping stations hold potential for meaningful engagement in science practices. One central finding from observations and interviews is the important role that facilitators play in helping make connections, particularly in helping 'guide' or explain to visitors what to notice or attend to through science practices.