Initiative Coordinators: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Susan Levine (Co-PI)
We want to ensure that what we know about spatial learning reaches a wider public audience, as one of the issues in the field is that such learning does not have a profile as high as that of language learning, reading, and mathematics . Our outreach program is thus designed to contact parents, teachers and policy makers with the message that spatial learning should be counted among the many basic concepts that build early learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We also aim to communicate concrete ideas about how to achieve effective spatial learning, e.g., how best to teach measurement skills in elementary school.
- ♦ Newcombe, N. S. (2010). Picture This: Increasing Math and Science Learning by Improving Spatial Thinking. American Educator, Summer Issue, 29-43.
- ♦ LearnNow.org: From Research to the Real World
This site offers up-to-date advice on learning for parents, educators and child-care providers. Our SILC Faculty Members, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff (former Spatial Network Member), are two of the founding members of LearnNow.org (formerly known as L-rn).
- ♦ The Living Lab
SILC is working with the Museum of Science in Boston to bring their Living Laboratory Model to local Philadelphia museums. The Living Lab is a program at the Museum of Science in Boston where researchers conduct research on human development at the museum. The goal of this NSF funded program is to educate the public, in particular parents, about the methodologies behind developmental research. The program brings together museum educators and researchers with the goal of fostering interest in developmental science among the public. NSF has awarded the Museum of Science a new grant to expand the Living Lab to science museums around the country and researchers from SILC have met with museum educators to discuss bringing this program to Philadelphia.
Two of our SILC Members are on the Advisory Board for the Living Lab grant: Nora S. Newcombe (PI) and Kristin Gagnier (SILC Postdoc).
- ♦ Spatial Skills Compendium on LearnNow.org
A web compendium on spatial skills out of both SILC and non-SILC partners.
- ♦ The Ultimate Block Party
The mission of UBP (from their website):
The Ultimate Block Party aims to create a multi-pronged social movement that champions the importance of play and playful learning in children’s lives. We seek to ensure that all children are provided with competitive skills for the 21st century global world and to build a public groundswell about the value of play for fostering lifelong learning in the sciences and the arts. Our mission is to affect policy about children and the way we deliver education in our society.
Outreach in Action
- ♦ April 4, 2012: National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Webinar
- Starting Your Own Geospatial Semester by SILC Faculty Member, Bob Kolvoord. Go to the NCGE website for more information and to Register for this on-line talk.
- ♦ April 11, 2012: National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Webinar
- Space, Place & Relationships: Exploring Spatial Cognition in 2012 and Beyond by Diana S. Hinton and SILC Faculty Member, Nora S. Newcombe (PI). Go to the NCGE website for more information and to Register for this on-line talk.
- ♦ April 20-29, 2012: The Philadelphia Science Festival
- SILC will be participating at the opening night of the second annual Philadelphia Science Festival. The festival is a citywide effort to put science in the public spotlight. Scientists from all around the city gather together for week of informal science education experiences including lectures, debates, and interactive activities. The goal of the festival is to make science tangible to the public and to illustrate the importance of science in our daily lives. Researchers from SILC will be attending the opening night festivities to promote research on spatial learning. Our goal is to showcase what spatial learning is, its importance in daily life and STEM education and how spatial skills can be improved. Armed with spatial toys and games, we hope to engage the general public in discussions related to spatial intelligence and to champion the importance of spatial skills for many aspects of human functioning.
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