• Seek out partners from the community. This point has been reinforced throughout the book. When planning activities for different ages, it may be necessary for one group to seek out another so that an effective program can be designed. Project SEE, for senior citizens, is an example of how a partnership among three entities—Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Meadowlands Environmental Center, and regional aging community services—joined forces to offer this audience a unique science learning experience.

  • Be aware of new research and best practices. In programs for all three age groups, new information is always emerging about how people learn. Try to become familiar with the research base and use new findings to inform program design and development. There is a considerable body of knowledge on adult learning and adult learners that is relevant to informal science education and learning. There is also a growing body of tested examples and case studies to draw from that are available online or accessible through blogs and listservs.

  • Consider the diversity of your audience. Previous chapters considered cultural and linguistic diversity; differences in interest, motivation, knowledge; and situated identity as factors to consider when providing informal science learning experiences. Age and physical ability are certainly important aspects that help determine the diversity of informal audiences. Culturally oriented designs or universal design principles (that acknowledge differences in physical and mental abilities of visitors or participants) are ways to help serve the multiple audiences of informal science settings.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement