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Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments
tors can express in words or pictures that illustrate what has been learned during, immediately after, or long after a given experience.
Engagement. Similar to Strand 1 (sparking interest and excitement), this impact focuses on learners’ engagement and interest in science, including the emotions evoked by the experience. These emotions can range from excitement and delight to negative feelings, such as anger or sadness.
Attitude. This impact refers to a change in worldview or an increase in empathy as a result of an experience in an informal setting. Changes in attitude toward science, math, engineering, or technology are connected to Strand 6.
Behavior. This impact refers to projects whose purpose is to change visitors’ behaviors over the long term. Often these changes are sought after experiencing environmental or conservation projects. This category does not have a direct equivalent within the strands.
Skills. Similar to Strand 3 (engaging in scientific reasoning) and Strand 5 (using the tools and language of science), this impact focuses on the skills of scientific inquiry, such as observing, asking questions, predicting, testing predictions through experimentation, collecting data, and interpreting them.
The framework also allows for other than these five predetermined categories, thus recognizing that informal science settings may influence visitors, audiences, or participants in many different and important ways.
“Without a common framework specifying outcomes and approaches, it is difficult to show gains in learning that occur across experiences and/or across time.”