Exploratorium
GIVE: Group Inquiry by Visitors at Exhibits

National Science Foundation

GIVE is an ongoing Exploratorium research
project funded by the
National Science
Foundation.

 
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Group Inquiry by Visitors at Exhibits (GIVE) is an ongoing research project at the Exploratorium, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Many visitors to science museums don’t have strong science backgrounds, and may not know how to get the most out of open-ended exhibits that display complex scientific phenomena.

In this project, museum staff created a very brief program to coach visiting families and field trip groups in how to engage deeply with interactive exhibits. Groups were taught to collaborate, using two skills that are central to the scientific inquiry processes of science:

  • Asking questions
  • Interpreting results

After learning to use the skills, groups were asked to use an exhibit they had never seen before, and they were recorded using it and interviewed about their experiences afterwards. This allowed researchers to determine the impact of the program on groups’ learning, and in particular on their inquiry skills.

Group Inquiry at Science Museum Exhibits
Group Inquiry at Science Museum Exhibits

This book outlines the development and evaluation of the Juicy Question activity, demonstrating how it affects behavior in museum visitors, and at the same time teaches valuable inquiry skills useful in a variety of informal education settings.

About the book
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