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Presentation by John Falk, PhD, Oregon State University

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When, Why & Where Does the Public Learn Science: An Ecosystem Approach?


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Apr 11, 2014
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM


Anderson - Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113


Dr. Falk will present an overview of what is currently known about when, why and where the public learns science. He will share results from a variety of recent large-scale investigations of science learning to document the significant role that informal educational experiences have in building a scientifically-informed public.

Optional Balloon Museum tours will be led at 1pm and 4pm.

RSVP is required as space is limited.

This program is co-sponsored by the NM Informal Science Education Network (NM ISE Net) and NM EPSCoR with support from the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, and is made possible by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement with funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. John H. Falk, Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University and Director, OSU Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, is internationally acknowledged as a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs while visiting museums, zoos, aquariums or parks, watching educational television or surfing the Internet for information. Dr. Falk has authored over one hundred fifty scholarly articles and chapters in the areas of learning, ecology and education, more than a dozen books, and helped to create several nationally important out-of-school educational curricula. He serves on numerous national and international boards and commissions and has been Associate Editor of several internationally prominent journals. Before joining the faculty at Oregon State University, he founded and directed the Institute for Learning Innovation where for twenty years he oversaw more than 200 research and evaluation projects involving a wide range of free-choice learning institutions. He also worked as an early child science educator at the University of Maryland and spent fourteen years at the Smithsonian Institution where he held a number of senior positions including Director, Smithsonian Office of Educational Research. In 2006 Falk was recognized by the American Association of Museums as one of the 100 most influential museum professionals of the past 100 years. In 2010 he was further recognized by the American Association of Museum’s Education Committee with its highest award, the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership. In 2013 the U.S. Council of Science Society President’s gave Falk their Educational Research Award for his outstanding achievement in research that improved children’s learning and understanding. Falk earned a joint doctorate in Ecology and Science Education from the University of California, Berkeley.