1st Edition

Design Make Play for Equity, Inclusion, and Agency The Evolving Landscape of Creative STEM Learning

    252 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This pioneering book offers a resource for educators, policymakers, researchers, exhibit designers, and program developers that illuminates creative, cutting-edge ways to inspire, engage, and motivate young people about STEM learning in both informal and formal education settings.

    A follow-up to the popular book Design, Make, Play (2013), this volume combines new research, innovative case studies, and practical advice from the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) to define and illustrate a vision for creative and immersive learning, focusing on STEM learning experiences that are truly equitable and inclusive, and that foster learners’ agency.

    Featuring contributions from program developers, facilitators, educators, exhibit designers, and researchers, the book provides real-world examples from informal and formal settings that fill the need for high-quality STEM learning opportunities that are accessible to all learners, including groups underrepresented in STEM education and careers. Chapters of the book describe strategies such as using narratives to make engineering learning more inclusive, engaging English language learners in digital design, focusing on whole-family learning, and introducing underserved students to computational thinking through an immersive computer game.

    This book offers both a challenge and a guide to all STEM educators in museums, science centers, and other informal and formal education settings who are seeking out ambitious and more equitable forms of engagement. With leading-edge research and practical advice, the book provides appealing and accessible forms of engagement that will support a diverse range of audiences and deepen their approach to creative STEM learning.

    Introduction: Design Make Play for Equity, Inclusion, and Agency

    Harouna Ba, Katherine McMillan Culp, and Margaret Honey

    Part I Designing for Visitors’ Agency

    Chapter 1 Designing for Agency in Informal STEM Learning Environments

    Susan M. Letourneau

    Chapter 2 From Explaining to Engaging Visitors: Transforming the Facilitator’s Role

    Priya Mohabir, Dorothy Bennett, C. James Liu, and Daisy Tetecatl

    Chapter 3 Narratives, Empathy, and Engineering: Creating Inclusive Engineering Activities

    Susan M. Letourneau, Dorothy Bennett, Amelia Merker, Satbir Multani, C. James Liu, Yessenia Argudo, and Dana Schloss

    Chapter 4 Co-Designing Learning Dashboards for Informal Educators

    Elham Beheshti, Leilah Lyons, Aditi Mallavarapu, Wren Thompson, Betty Wallingford, and Stephen Uzzo

    Part II Relinquishing Power and Authority in Informal Settings

    Chapter 5 Museum-Community Engagement to Support STEM Learning

    Andrés Henríquez and Marcia Bueno

    Chapter 6 Big Data for Little Kids: Developing an Inclusive Program for Young Learners and Their Families

    C. James Liu, Kate Maschak, Delia Meza, Susan M. Letourneau, and Yessenia Argudo

    Chapter 7 Designing Maker Programs for Family Engagement

    David Wells, Susan M. Letourneau, and Samantha Tumolo

    Chapter 8 Innovation Institute: Follow the Youth

    David Wells, Elham Beheshti, and Danny Kirk

    Part III Playing and Learning Across Settings

    Chapter 9 See, Touch, and Feel Math: Digital Design for English Language Learners

    Dorothy Bennett, Tara Chudoba, Xiomara Flowers, and Heidi Slouffman

    Chapter 10 Learning Physics through Embodied Play in a School Setting

    Harouna Ba, Christina O’Malley, Yessenia Argudo, and Laycca Umer

    Chapter 11 Integrating Computational Thinking Across the Elementary Curriculum: A Professional Development Approach

    Anthony Negron

    Chapter 12 The Pack: Playfully Embodying Computational and Systems Thinking

    Leilah Lyons, Stephen Uzzo, Harouna Ba, and Wren Thompson


    Harouna Ba is Director of the Sara Lee Schupf Family Center for Play, Science, and Technology Learning at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), as well as a senior research scientist specializing in children’s STEM learning across formal and informal educational settings.

    Katherine McMillan Culp is Chief Learning Officer at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), where she oversees research, exhibition, and program development; educational and community outreach; and youth development programs.

    Margaret Honey is President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) and leads the museum’s commitment to nurturing a generation of creative and collaborative problem solvers in STEM.