1887

Experiential Posters: Theatrical and Improvisational Tools Aid in Science Museum Outreach

    Authors: Verónica A. Segarra1,*, Michael Birnbaum1, Alexandria Ortíz-Rosado2, Darlah López-Rodríguez3, Victoria Varona4, Ji Zha5, Shashana Fiedler6, Wesam Azaizeh6, Herman Autore7
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136; 2: Department of Acquisitions, University of Miami Richter Library, Coral Gables, FL 33146; 3: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136; 4: Department of Education, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL 33132; 5: Department of Neurological Surgery, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136; 6: Department of Biology, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL 33161; 7: Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department, Miami, FL 33190
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Rollins College, Bush Science Center, 1000 Holt Avenue-2743, Winter Park, FL 32789-4499. Phone: 407-646-2645. Fax: 407-646-2479. E-mail: VSegarra@Rollins.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 313-315. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.741
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    Abstract:

    We frequently use diagrams or animations to reveal to others biological phenomena that are both invisible to the naked eye and difficult to conceptualize. But these didactic tools fall short in that they generally do not provide feedback or interaction with the user, nor adapt easily to the user’s needs and abilities. Adaptability to the user’s educational level and needs is critical to catalyze effective learning, especially when the new content is highly complex in nature. The need for adaptability is key in museum learning environments, where the student audience is very diverse in age and academic training. We are rethinking the way we go about representing biological processes to general audiences, particularly highly complex topics such as those found in neuroscience. We have experimented with the concept of using (what we are calling) “experiential posters” in the context of museum educational experiences to represent processes in neuroscience in a way that is more accessible to the general public. An experiential poster is an installation that uses props and staging to provide the user or learner an opportunity to “act out” the sequence of events and the flow of materials in a biological process of interest. We describe the use of an “experiential poster” to meet specific learning objectives. We also discuss the potential for its use in service learning and science outreach education.

Key Concept Ranking

Signalling Pathway
0.69843745
Fig
0.44362247
Elements
0.30520284
0.69843745

References & Citations

1. Duschl R 2008 Science education in three-part harmony: balancing conceptual, epistemic, and social learning goals Rev Res Educ 32 268 291 10.3102/0091732X07309371 http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0091732X07309371
2. Gerber BL, Cavallo AML, Marek EA 2001 Relationships among informal learning environments, teaching procedures, and scientific reasoning ability Int J Sci Educ 23 535 549 10.1080/09500690116971 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690116971
3. Hofstein A, Rosenfeld S 1996 Bridging the gap between formal and informal science learning Studies Sci Educ 28 87 112 10.1080/03057269608560085 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057269608560085
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2014-12-15
2017-10-19

Abstract:

We frequently use diagrams or animations to reveal to others biological phenomena that are both invisible to the naked eye and difficult to conceptualize. But these didactic tools fall short in that they generally do not provide feedback or interaction with the user, nor adapt easily to the user’s needs and abilities. Adaptability to the user’s educational level and needs is critical to catalyze effective learning, especially when the new content is highly complex in nature. The need for adaptability is key in museum learning environments, where the student audience is very diverse in age and academic training. We are rethinking the way we go about representing biological processes to general audiences, particularly highly complex topics such as those found in neuroscience. We have experimented with the concept of using (what we are calling) “experiential posters” in the context of museum educational experiences to represent processes in neuroscience in a way that is more accessible to the general public. An experiential poster is an installation that uses props and staging to provide the user or learner an opportunity to “act out” the sequence of events and the flow of materials in a biological process of interest. We describe the use of an “experiential poster” to meet specific learning objectives. We also discuss the potential for its use in service learning and science outreach education.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1.

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FIGURE 1.

Graphic used to generate the stage for the “Tasting the Message” installation that allowed students to act out the taste signaling pathways.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 313-315. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.741
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