Research News

Halverson, UW-Milwaukee colleague studying ‘maker experience’ at children’s museum

March 18, 2016

The work of UW-Madison's Erica Halverson is highlighted in a recent article out of UW-Milwaukee that’s headlined, “Electrifying research encourages young scientists.”

Halverson is an associate professor with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Erica Halverson 2015
The article is about an evaluation of a “maker experience” exhibit in partnership with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, with a grant from the Herzfeld Foundation.  For the study, Halverson and UW-Milwaukee’s Chris Lawson are studying 278 students in 11 third-grade classrooms and one third/fourth-grade classroom who spent five weeks learning about electrical circuits. The students worked in their classrooms and at the museum’s Be a Maker space.

“Third-grade students don’t get to do the stuff in their classrooms and their schools that they get to do in the museum,” says Lawson, an assistant professor with UW-Milwaukee’s School of Education. “It is cool stuff. They’re making circuits. They’re learning that it’s fun and exciting to play with electricity.”

One of the goals of the project, the article continues, was to get students excited about learning, especially about science and technology.

Lawson and Halverson, the article explains, are still completing research work and preparing for publication. But preliminary results showed the students improved their knowledge of the scientific concepts taught, and the teachers and students surveyed enjoyed the experience.

To learn more, visit this UW-Milwaukee web page.