Making Meaning from STEM Learning
To make STEM experiences meaningful, youth need to make the STEM learning personal. Staff use "provocations" and "plussing" to challenge youth to think of new ideas based on what they have discovered while creating an object that can fly out of a wind tunnel.
Research suggests: Meaning-making (i.e. interpreting experiences to give them personal significance) is an essential learning behavior (Learning Science in Informal Environments). Frontline staff and volunteers deepen understanding and purpose through adding complexity and offering opportunities for reflection (Museums Afterschool: Principles, Data and Design).