Archive for September 13th, 2013

September 13, 2013

Melissa Heads to the National Living Lab Meeting at the Museum of Science, Boston!

by Melissa Harding

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This weekend, science educator Melissa Harding will be traveling to Boston’s Museum of Science for the National Living Lab Northeast Region Hub Meeting. The National Living Laboratory is a nationally-recognized model for research that takes place inside museums and other informal learning institutions. In the Living Lab model, scientists in the fields of child developmental and psychological research conduct their studies at local museums, recruiting study participants from museum visitors. These researchers then work with museum educators to communicate the questions and methods of their work to visitors through innovative activities and one-on-one interactions with the researchers themselves. These studies occur on the museum floor, in plain view of visitors, allowing them to be drawn in to the process. Participants and viewers alike learn how science is applicable to their own lives, how research is conducted, what scientists look and act like and how to answer tough questions using the scientific method.

Melissa will be in Boston to attend a two day conference to learn better how to work with the current researchers that we have, as well as learn how to facilitate more effective interactions between visitors and researchers. She will be meeting with museum educators and researchers from all over the northeastern US to learn from their successes and failures, as well as to share experiences at Phipps.

To learn more about our research collaborations with Carnegie Mellon University, check out our blog post on research in museums.

To learn more about the importance of museums in early learning, check out this recent post.

The above photo was taken by Cory Doman.

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