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Designing for Productive Struggle in Informal Science Learning

Productive struggle at work in Partners in Motion exhibit

Project title
Developing Guidelines for Designing Challenging and Rewarding Interactive Science Exhibits ("Productive Struggle”)

Project Description

The Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with EdTogether, the University of Rochester, and CAST, are conducting a three-year Research in Service to Practice project, called Developing Guidelines for Designing Challenging and Rewarding Interactive Science Exhibits, to explore how informal science learning experiences can support visitors' engagement in "productive struggle” — learning challenges that are exhilarating, challenging, intensive, and fruitful. 

This project will systematically create:

This project will deepen the value and impact of museums for a broad range of visitors by expanding the definition of what makes for an inclusive and effective informal science learning experience. By describing and investigating productive struggle and the exhibit designs that elicit and support it for a diverse range of visitors, and then developing design guidelines and approaches through a research-practice collaboration, this project will give rise to a rich and generative new set of tools and goals for informal science learning design.

Timeline

2017 – 2020

Funder

National Science Foundation

Partners

Boston Museum of Science
EdTogether
University of Rochester

Project Leadership

Christine Reich, Boston Museum of Science (PI)
Elizabeth Kunz Kollmann, Boston Museum of Science (Co-PI)
Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, EdTogether (Co-PI)
Samantha Daley, University of Rochester (Co-Investigator)
Jose Blackorby, CAST (Co-PI)

Contact

For more information about this project, please contact Kim Ducharme.

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