1. Jessica Andrews
  2. Project Director
  4. WGBH Educational Foundation
  2. https://www.edc.org/marion-goldstein
  3. Research Scientist
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Marisa Wolsky
  2. Executive Producer
  4. WGBH Educational Foundation

PLUM LANDING: Explore Outdoors

NSF Awards: 1516466

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Informal / multi-age

PLUM RX is a research-design project that is creating innovative opportunities to bring environmental science learning to the hard-to-reach audience of urban families. The project capitalizes on the appeal of PLUM LANDING—an NSF-funded PBS KIDS property that uses media and hands-on activities to motivate 6- to 9-year-old children to investigate nature—in order to research and develop new resources that help educators infuse active, outdoor science learning into youth and family programming in urban communities.


Over the course of the project, content developers from WGBH and researchers from EDC adopted an iterative research and design process, during which the project team went through multiple cycles of implementation and revision to create the PLUM LANDING Explore Outdoors Toolkit. This Toolkit consists of digital media resources (animated stories, live-action videos, an online badging system, and an app for families), along with hands-on science activities and support materials for parents and caregivers, educators, and program directors.


Now that the Toolkit has been completed, it is being distributed nationally to audiences such as outdoor prescription programs, urban park and recreation programs, environmental education organizations, and other informal education groups. The project team is also focused on sharing what we have learned about the challenges facing informal educators in urban environments, and how digital media can best be designed, supported, and disseminated so that it is useful and relevant for educators and caregivers seeking to support outdoor exploration and STEM learning among urban children and families. A summative evaluation is currently wrapping up.

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