STEAM Education Practices

Researching the Value of Educator Actions on Learning

Balancing Art Exhibit

Project Description

We wanted to learn how staff facilitation affected family dialog at exhibits—particularly how families talk about math. Emphasizing culturally responsive research and education approaches, we created a study to identify factors that influence the outcomes of family interactions in math-related exhibits.

We used a three-phase design that implemented a design based research study, an experimental study, and an Activity Frame analysis. Our goals for this research were to: (1) Iteratively develop and refine a theoretical model of how staff facilitation can deepen and extend family mathematical discourse at interactive exhibits; (2) rigorously test key components of this model, including the relationship between staff facilitation and the nature of family mathematical discourse; and (3) provide evidence and research-based tools to support professional development efforts for informal STEM educators.

Designing for Speed
Drawing in Motion Exhibit
REVEAL Team meeting


Oregon State University
Adelante Mujeres


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1321666. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.