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Practical + Powerful

Access to Informal STEM Learning for Participants with Disabilities (AccessISL)

Museology Co-PI: Meena Selvakumar, PhD
Funded by: National Science Foundation
AccessISL employs a student-centered approach and potentially transformative practices that embrace the social model of disability, social justice education, disability as a diversity issue, intersectionality, and universal design. A leadership team of interns—each member a STEM student with a disability or a museology graduate student—along with project staff will engage with the UW Museology Program to identify and implement strategies for making ISL activities and courses more welcoming and accessible to individuals with disabilities. The model will be fine-tuned through formative evaluation. Quantitative data collected will include levels and quality of student engagement, accessibility recommendations and products developed, and delivery of ISL services. Qualitative data will be collected through observations, surveys, focus groups, interviews, and case studies. The external evaluator will then assess effectiveness in furthering the project goal and objectives and recommend next steps.

Co-Creating Concept Art and Stories for Virtual Reality (VR): Libraries and Museums as Assets for Juvenile Rehabilitation

Museology Co-PI: Jessica Luke, PhD
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services

The focus of this project is on the construction of a three-part digital arts education program for youth in juvenile rehabilitation. Part one involves community asset mapping and coalition building to support the engagement of incarcerated youth in the digital arts. Part two focuses on a co-design workshop for youth to create concept art and stories for virtual reality. Part three includes the co-curation of an exhibition of that concept art for display inside Echo Glen Children’s Center for Juvenile Rehabilitation and in the nearby Snoqualmie Public Library, to enable dialogue across community members and further strengthen the coalition. This project will build on libraries and museums as assets by building a coalition starting with University of Washington Information School, Washington State Library (WSL) – King County Library System (KCLS), and Echo Glen Children’s Center for Juvenile Rehabilitation in Snoqualmie, Washington. Our goal will be to map local assets related to digital art, technology, design, education, and curation with a focus on Virtual Reality (VR) in Snoqualmie and Seattle.

Building a practicing research network in the children’s museum field

Museology PI: Jessica Luke, PhD
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Based on a research agenda developed by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) under a previous IMLS grant, ACM and the University of Washington’s Museology Graduate Program will develop a network of children’s museums with the capacity for conducting research, help them identify areas of mutual research interest that respond to the research agenda, conduct three to five research projects across this museum network, and cultivate the network to initiate future research activities. The team will aggregate the resulting data and share it with the broader children’s museum field. The research results will provide, for the first time, an evidence base to document learning in and from children’s museums and allow the field to articulate the value of their practices and programs.

LEAP into science: Engaging diverse community partners in science and literacy

Museology PI: Jessica Luke, PhD
Funded by: National Science Foundation
Dr. Jessica Luke, Museology Graduate Program, serves as a co-PI on this project, overseeing research and evaluation efforts in support of LEAP/FSD.

By connecting children’s literature and hands-on activities in out-of-school settings, The Franklin Institute’s LEAP/Pilot promoted student and family engagement in science and literacy in Philadelphia for over 4 years. In 2011, a cohort of ten national sites joined the initiative to pilot LEAP into Science resources in multiple out-of-school time contexts and within unique institutional partnerships. Through continued collaboration in Philadelphia and with these national cohort sites, LEAP into Science: Engaging Diverse Community Partners in Science and Literacy will leverage the relationships, experiences, and resources initiated in LEAP/Pilot to address the needs of new audiences, meet partners’ requests for enhanced professional development, and study the efficacy of this program in different out-of-school time structures and populations across the country. The result will be an adaptable program that more effectively reaches diverse audiences in science and literacy through community partners, as well as a stronger understanding of implementation for improved sustainability.