Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Informal Learning in Science and Engineering

The House Committee on Science and Technology will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine informal Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning. More info follows. See their hearing page for more, including a webcast tomorrow. There is a link to a hearing charter (pdf), which includes more background information and some questions for the witnesses.

1. Purpose
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the role of informal environments in promoting STEM learning. The Subcommittee will explore the potential for informal STEM learning to engage students in math and science in ways that traditional formal learning environments cannot, as well as the ways in which informal STEM education can complement and enhance classroom STEM studies. Furthermore, we will receive testimony on the National Academies report, "Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits."

2. Witnesses:
  • Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Division Director, Division of Research on Learning inFormal and Informal Settings, Education and Human Resources Directorate, National Science Foundation.
  • Dr. Phillip Bell, Co-Chair, National Academies report “Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits,” and Professor, College of Education, the University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Dr. Alejandro Grajal, Senior Vice President of Conservation, Education, and Training, the Chicago Zoological Society.

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