June Expert Panel: Sparking and Sustaining STEM Interest Through Informal Learning Experiences: Reflections on Where We've Been and Where We're Headed as a Field

Overview Blog Playlist Expert Panel Discussion Resources Synthesis Brief



Natalie's Breakout

Flavio's Breakout

Download: Webinar Chat

Description: Sparking and sustaining interest has long been identified as a central goal of informal STEM learning experiences. As the field has continued to evolve, we are learning more about what it means to foster STEM interests and developing new tools and frameworks for describing and studying these interests and their impact. Join us for this live discussion panel as a group of experts reflect on our ideas about STEM interest in the field of informal STEM learning and consider directions for future education and research efforts.





Scott Pattison

Scott Pattison, PhD,  is a social scientist who has been studying and supporting STEM education and learning since 2003, as an educator, program and exhibit developer, evaluator, and researcher. His current work focuses on engagement, learning, and interest and identity development in free-choice and out-of-school environments, including museums, community-based organizations, and everyday settings. Dr. Pattison specializes in using qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the processes and mechanisms of learning in naturalistic settings. He has partnered with numerous educational and community organizations across the country to support learning for diverse communities.


Natalie R. Davis

Natalie R. Davis is a 2021 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellow and assistant professor in the Program in Creative & Innovative Education at Georgia State University. As an educational ethnographer and learning scientist, her scholarship focuses on children's sociopolitical development within the context of innovative, justice-oriented (STEAM) learning environments. Her work also considers if/how the study and enactment of political education shows regard for children as playful, imaginative and savvy.


Flávio Azevedo

Flávio Azevedo is Associate Professor in the STEM Education program in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Flávio’s work focuses on the nature of interests and interest-driven participation, and STEM learning in- and out-of-schools. Broadly, to speak of people’s interests is to speak about the multitude of ways in which diverse individuals engage any given activity, so that pedagogies for interest development can be powerful pedagogies of inclusion and long-term engagement. Flávio investigates interest-driven participation and learning across timescales and settings of STEM practice (classrooms, after-school programs, hobbies, and museums), as well as the socio-cultural and political contexts of such practices, so as to broaden and deepen participation in STEM and to intervene on mechanisms that (re)produce inequities across educational spaces.