Exploratorium
Visitor Research and Evaluation
WHAT WE DO WHO WE ARE REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS  
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The Exploratorium's Visitor Research and Evaluation Department was founded in 1996. The department currently has 7 regular staff members. Contact Us
 
Joshua Gutwill Joshua Gutwill
Director of Visitor Research and Evaluation
Joshua Gutwill is Director of the Department of Visitor Research and Evaluation at the Exploratorium. His work includes exhibit and program evaluations to improve visitors' experiences and research on learning in informal environments. Specifically, he is interested in creating opportunities for visitors to engage in self-directed inquiry in science museum settings. Before joining the Exploratorium in 1998, he was the Director of Assessment and Evaluation for a consortium of college and university faculty creating a new college chemistry curriculum. He received his Ph.D. in Science Education from UC Berkeley in 1996, conducting research on high school students' models of direct current electricity. His driving interest is to use research and evaluation methods to help educators (teachers, exhibit developers, curriculum designers) improve their practice. 
> Joshua Gutwill's CV
Joshua Gutwill  email address
   
Joyce Ma Joyce Ma
Senior Researcher
Joyce Ma is a Senior Researcher in the Department. Her work involves characterizing the visitor experience in order to  inform exhibit and program development and better understand the nature of informal learning at our museum. Before joining the Exploratorium, Joyce was in the Learning Sciences Program at Northwestern University. She worked in the Qualitative Reasoning Group, headed by Professor Ken Forbus, where she conducted research on mental models, analogical reasoning, and computer-based learning environments, specifically those that scaffold students in building and testing system models. Joyce is interested in understanding how people make sense of scientific and technical domains and in developing innovative learning environments as informed by cognitive research. 
> Joyce Ma's CV
Joyce Ma  email address
 
Veronica Garcia-Luis Veronica Garcia-Luis
Research Associate
Veronica Garcia-Luis is a Research Associate in the Department. Her scope of evaluation work includes exhibit development, public programming, orientation and wayfinding, and audience development. Before joining the Exploratorium in 1997, Veronica was a museum educator at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History in Los Angeles, where she explored object-based programming with a wide range of audiences. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University in 1997, where she investigated how museums can create effective partnerships with urban Latino families. Veronica is very enthusiastic about creating accessible learning environments for diverse audiences. 
> Veronica Garcia-Luis' CV
Veronica Garcia-Ruis email address
 
Toni Dancu Toni Dancu
Researcher
Toni Dancu is a Researcher in the Department. The looks of wonder and shrieks of surprise that fill the Exploratorium inspire her to better understand the visitor experience, and to help ensurethat challenging moments at exhibits are motivating rather than discouraging. She uses her developmental psychology background to identify research designs and methods that address questions about engaging underserved audiences, such as females and African Americans; the role of relevance in the museum experience; and the effects of exhibit characteristics on visitors' exhibit use, time spent, conversations, and more. In order to help create intuitive and engaging experiences that reflect exhibit developers' intentions, Toni conducts formative evaluations that fold visitors' voices into the process. She often provides statistical consulting within the Department and the visitor studies community. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, Toni interned at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and the Institute for Learning Innovation. 
> Toni Dancuís CV
Toni Dancu email address
 
Nina Hido Nina Hido
Senior Project Evaluator
Nina Hido is a Research and Evaluation Coordinator in the Department. She assists the evaluation and research efforts on several large grant initiatives, working closely with the exhibit development team and visitors out on the museum floor. Nina is especially interested in how human-factors-based designs affect the way people make choices. Previously, Nina worked for a web-site usability consultancy and at UCSF's Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute.
Nina Hido  email address
 
Adam Klinger Adam Klinger
Evaluation Systems Specialist
Adam Klinger is the Department's Evaluation Systems Specialist.† Currently, he is involved in the development and refinement of tools and methods for the capture, management, and analysis of data, with a focus on audio/video streams. Recently, he has developed two such systems, one for a lab study, and most recently, a system for recording visitor dyads as they move about the museum floor. In his previous position as an Research and Evaluation Coordinator, Adam was heavily involved with the GIVE (Group Inquiry by Visitors at Exhibits) Project, where he served many roles including the development of methodology, integration of new technology, and collection and coding of data. Before joining the team, Adam was enrolled in a clinical psychology Ph.D. program at NYU, where he studied adult attachment patterns and their link to mental representations of the self and others.  
> Adam Klinger's CV
 Adam Klinger email address
 
Lisa Sindorf Lisa Sindorf
Research and Evaluation Coordinator
Lisa Sindorf is a Research Coordinator in the Department. She joined the museum in 2008 to assist with research around the Geometry Playground exhibition, which looked at the visitor experience at immersive and tabletop exhibits. She is currently helping to investigate ways to scaffold observation and methods for encouraging inquiry around data visualization. Prior to entering the museum world, Lisa studied Linguistics with a focus on second language acquisition, and then taught middle school in Oakland while earning her M.A. in Education from U.C. Berkeley. 
> Lisa Sindorf's CV
Lisa Sindorf email address
 
 
Claudia Schidlow Claudia Schidlow
Research and Evaluation Coordinator
Claudia Schidlow is a Research and Evaluation Coordinator in the Department. She works with visitors on the museum floor, assists with various research and evaluation projects, and reviews Spanish labels and communications for the Exploratorium. Before joining the museum in 2012, Claudia moved from her native Mexico City to San Francisco to pursue her M.A. in Exhibition and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, investigating alternative forms of film display within museums. She was also an intern during this time at the de Young Museum's Public Programs department, where she worked closely with artists in residence, artist fellows and visitors. 
> Claudia Schidlow's CV
Claudia Schidlow email address
 
Sue Allen Sue Allen
Founding Director

Sue Allen email address
 
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