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Award Abstract #1224111

Integrating Informal STEM and Arts-Based Learning to Foster Innovation

NSF Org: DRL
Division Of Research On Learning
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Initial Amendment Date: September 5, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: February 26, 2016
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Award Number: 1224111
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: Alphonse T. DeSena
DRL Division Of Research On Learning
EHR Direct For Education and Human Resources
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Start Date: September 15, 2012
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End Date: February 28, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $2,852,211.00
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Investigator(s): Harvey Seifter hseifter@aol.com (Principal Investigator)
Jessica Luke (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
1549 El Prado, Suite 4
San Diego, CA 92101-1699 (619)232-7502
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NSF Program(s): AISL
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Program Reference Code(s): 9177, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 7259

ABSTRACT

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, in collaboration with several informal science education and other cultural and business organizations in San Diego, Chicago, and Worcester, MA are implementing a research and development project that investigates a range of possible approaches for stimulating the development of 21st Century creativity skills and innovative processes at the interface between informal STEM learning and methods for creative thinking. The goal of the research is to advance understanding of the potential impacts of creative thinking methods on the public's understanding of and engagement with STEM, with a focus on 21st Century workforce skills of teens and adults. The goal of the project's development activities is to experiment with a variety of "innovation incubator" models in cities around the country. Modeled on business "incubators" or "accelerators" that are designed to foster and accelerate innovation and creativity, these STEM incubators generate collaborations of different professionals and the public around STEM education and other STEM-related topics of local interest that can be explored with the help of creative learning methodologies such as innovative methods to generate creative ideas, ideas for transforming one STEM idea to others, drawing on visual and graphical ideas, improvisation, narrative writing, and the process of using innovative visual displays of information for creating visual roadmaps.

Hosting the project's incubators are the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (San Diego), the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) and the EcoTarium (Worcester, MA). National partners are the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Americans for the Arts. Activities will include: the formation and collaborative processes of three incubator sites, a research study, the development of a creative thinking curriculum infused into science education, professional development based on the curriculum, public engagement events and exhibits, a project website and tools for social networking, and project evaluation. A national advisory council includes professionals in education, science, creativity, and business.

 

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