Informal Science Education reference book

I am recommending a book without reading it. According to the coauthor of Surrounded by Science, Marilyn Fenichel states that this video “captures the essence of what we were trying to say (in the book).” I like the video and how it explains informal learning of science. Surrounded by Science places informal science education into six strands of learning. The video provides examples of all six. The book provides useful tools and information for informal science educators.

The six strands of learning include:

  • Understanding Scientific Content & Knowledge
  • Engaging in Scientific Reasoning
  • Reflecting on Science
  • Sparking Interest & Excitement
  • Using Tools & the Language of Science
  • Identifying with the Scientific Enterprise

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments, is designed to make that task easier. Based on the National Research Council study, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, this book is a tool that provides case studies, illustrative examples, and probing questions for practitioners. In short, this book makes valuable research accessible to those working in informal science: educators, museum professionals, university faculty, youth leaders, media specialists, publishers, broadcast journalists, and many others.”

P.S. Thank you Stacy Jannis for introducing this video to me through LinkedIn.

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2 Responses to Informal Science Education reference book

  1. Alex says:

    I haven’t read the book either, but it sounds fascinating. I work at a STEM education center for kids, and I apply those 6 strands of learning every day. They are essential and vital to getting kids motivated to learn STEM concepts. I would add a 7th strand: encouraging creativity and interactivity. Kids learn best not only when they’re enthusiastic, but are using their hands and using their imaginations. One stigma I would love to tear down is that the sciences are only for “eggheads,” or left-brain thinkers. Getting kids to attach creativity to the sciences is a great way to aid that.

    Perhaps you’d be interested in this cool Web site I found recently. It’s a company in Southern California that’s doing STEM education workshops for kids. It’s called Rolling Robots. They post their lesson plans online for kids to do at home, without having to come in to the store. They definitely hit upon all 6 of your learning strands. Check it out:

    • Jan Bush says:

      Alex, yes. Interesting concept. I like the idea that a strong enough base of interested parents exist to support a retail outlet in a mall!! The website does seem good for advancing STEM and creativity although it appears everything has a cost.

      Thanks for sharing and I agree with your comments about creativity being important — especially for discovery. Enjoy and keep up the promotion of STEM education. Jan

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