Playlist: Sparking and Sustaining STEM interest through Informal Learning Experiences

This playlist is created for the June 2022 Theme of the Month.


Share your thoughts about this month's theme with the panelists and the community.
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jared Wilkins

    Jared Wilkins

    June 28, 2022 | 08:22 p.m.

    Hello, Does someone have copies of the two Renninger & Hidi papers that are referenced in the blog that could be sent through to me? My email address is Thank you.

  • June 29, 2022 | 10:39 a.m.

    Hello Jared, and thank you for joining us yesterday. Ann Renninger's commissioned paper that informed the 2009 consensus report Learning Science in Informal Environments is here. The 2006 Hidi & Renninger paper on the 4 phase model of interest development can be requested of the authors via ResearchGate here. Their 2011 paper on Revisiting the Conceptualization, Measurement, and Generation of Interest is available for free access via EBSCO if you are logged in to the website. It is free to register here. Their most recent paper, To Level the Playing Field, Develop Interest, is here

  • June 29, 2022 | 06:25 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing those links, Jamie. And thanks to everyone who attended or watched the presentation. We welcome your thoughts, reflections, and questions. I look forward to the ongoing discussion.



  • July 5, 2022 | 09:30 a.m.

    As the webinar discussion surfaced, there are many different perspectives on what STEM interest is, what it intersects with, and how to support it. In 2018, CAISE interviewed researchers and practitioners whose work is focused on interest and related constructs video excerpts from those interviews as well as full transcripts are available here

  • Icon for: Tony Perry

    Tony Perry

    July 5, 2022 | 10:17 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing these fantastic projects and the expert perspectives in the panels. 

    I am very excited about the developments coming out of this work situated, largely, in out-of-school contexts. A few related questions I often wonder about:

    What might the formal education system learn from this work? How could schools/schooling be reconfigured to take on the responsibility to develop and nuture student STEM interest exploration and development over time?

    However, I also worry this may not be the right approach! For example, one takeway from the panelists is that there seems to be something important for youth about doing having space and time for this work outside of the institution of school. The impact may not translate if we bring these practices into the formal classroom.

    I would welcome any thoughts or responses!


  • July 5, 2022 | 02:34 p.m.

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks so much for the questions and for sharing your reflections from the discussion. I agree that there are plenty of opportunities and challenges related to connecting these ideas to the classroom. Natalie certainly talked about this in terms of youth identity and how that process can be supported (or undermined) inside and outside of school.

    In my own work with preschool-age children and their families, I’m interested in promoting a two-way dialogue between schools and home. Traditionally, that dynamic has been more about one-way transmission of information from school to families. More recently, we have seen some acknowledgement of the funds of knowledge that children bring with them into the classroom and the ways that teachers can build on this. But in order to support ongoing interest development, I would like to see greater recognition of the rich learning that goes on at home and intentional strategies for connecting this learning with the classroom and vis-a-versa. This, I believe, would require a power shift, with teachers and parents seeing each other as partners in children’s education and the creation of communication strategies and dialogue spaces for families and teachers to share knowledge with each other.

    I’m not sure if this is directly relevant to your context, but it’s one thought that occurred to me as I was considering your question. Hopefully others from the group will chime in as well.



  • Icon for: Abdelfattah Jabrane

    Abdelfattah Jabrane

    July 6, 2022 | 08:36 a.m.

    Hi dear colleagues!

    I totally agree with this, and I want to add that between child and school there is a bridge, it's the informal knowledge, when parents answer to their children questions, they have to be carefull and consider it as a window to the whole universe even if it's sometimes complicated, we have to argue every comment with simplicity, honestly and don't hide our incapacity to answer and keep patient until child being convinced. I think it may be a scaffold to reach a future problem solver person.


    Physics teacher and mentor teacher

    Best regards

  • July 6, 2022 | 07:10 p.m.

    Thank you for this reflection, Abdelfattah! I appreciate your aspirational approach to supporting children's learning--thinking about their future possibilities as we adults try to scaffold and support. This feels like it touches on the essence of interest development. We recognize their emerging passions and try to support in a way that extends their their unique interest development pathways.


  • Icon for: Abdelfattah Jabrane

    Abdelfattah Jabrane

    July 7, 2022 | 08:53 a.m.

    Thank you Scott for sharing your expertise and I'm glad to share my thoughts that could enrich the debate.


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