Wednesday, August 20 through Friday, August 22, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) hosted the 2014 National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning (NSF AISL) Principal Investigator meeting. An AISL award and The Noyce Foundation support the SENCER-ISE initiative.
David Burns, Principal Investigator, Ellen Mappen, Project Director, and Hailey Chenevert, Project Coordinator, presented a poster at the meeting and attended as representatives of the SENCER-ISE initiative.
The meeting brought together AISL PIs and project representatives to share the progress and results on their projects and discuss pressing topics the faced by informal science education institutions (ISE), such as how to measure success, the importance of reaching and maintaining the connection with new audiences, the use of new media, and how to partner with STEM educators and researchers to boost learning.
A number of the discussions paralleled the SENCER-ISE’s goals and principles, which works to gain a better understanding of how cross-sector partnership can provide strategies for improving STEM learning, and seeks to help the public appreciate the value of ISEs as credible and accessible sources of high quality life-long learning.
As Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director of the NSF for Education and Human Resources, said in her opening remarks, with a large percentage of learning taking place outside of the classroom, the ISE sector must paly a large role in, “ensuring that we not only have a future set of scientists, but also in ensuring that we have a public that supports this.”
Dr. Ferrini-Mundy also notes that with its innovative and creative approaches to STEM education, the AISL community has the potential to act as a leader for the rest of the NSF community. SENCER-ISE hopes to contribute to that leadership and advancement of STEM education as we continue to support and learn from our ten Civic Engagement Partnerships.