Published: April 24, 2018

In this Learning in Informal Settings talk on May 1, Carrie Tzou, University of Washington-Bothell, will discuss Tech Tales, an NSF-funded project that invites families to tell their stories through robotics.

If you go

Who: Open to the public
What: Learning in Informal Settings Seminar: Dr. Carrie Tzou
When: Tuesday, May 1, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Where: Museum of Natural History (Henderson), Paleontology Hall

About the talk

With current calls to incorporate engineering into science education and the proliferation of makerspaces in informal learning environments, much is still to be known about how to realize this vision.

Robotics has the potential to engage in the vision of science learning presented in the Next Generation Science Standards, a multistate effort to create new educational standards. However, pedagogy and the design of robotics-inspired learning environments need to systematically work to push against boundaries of normative practices and tap into non-traditional configurations of learners.

At the heart of Tech Tales is the assertion that all learning is cultural; therefore, we center family stories as the vehicle through which families learn robotics. The project invites parents to take on new roles as learners with their children as they learn science and engineering concepts and draw on their own areas of expertise—perhaps in traditional practices such as sewing or professional skills such as computer programming.

Tech Tales brings together several large institutions—an urban library system, a science center, a university and also Native American-serving institutions—to form a model of decentralized informal science education.

Tzou's talk will describe both the model of participatory design research that this multi-institutional group engaged in, as well as the ways in which families engaged in storytelling and robotics learning together.

About the lecture series

Learning in Informal Settings is co-sponsored by the School of Education and Museum of Natural History. Recognizing the average American will spend 95 percent of their time outside of the classroom, the lecture series focuses on the science of non-formal teaching and learning and the important roles of non-formal learning in the lives of individuals and communities.