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Learning Science in Informal Environments

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, a new publication from the National Academies Press, makes it abundantly clear that both adults and children can learn from the informal looking, listening, and manipulating that they do as they move through exhibits and activities at children’s museums, aquaria, and science museums. In addition, the report points out the many different kinds of effects that informal learning can have: motivation, curiosity, facts, and even a sense of membership in the community of individuals who do, think, and love science. The report has bold implications for exhibition design, staff training, and evaluation whether the content is triceratops, Turner, or the Civil War.

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