Expand – Exploring and expanding science center research was initiated by Statoil in 2011 in collaboration with INSPIRIA Science Centre, Section for Learning and Teacher Education, Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norwegian Centre for Science Education and Norwegian Research Council.
The project has as its main objective to address the need for research-based development of science centers. Based on two evaluations (Quin 2006, Persson et al 2009) initiated by The Norwegian Research Council, there is an expressed need for research understanding the role of science centers as learning arenas in Norwegian context, in what ways science centers may supplement science communication and learning, and the unique aspects of science centers as learning arenas connecting schools and other learning sites in the Norwegian educational context. Also, these evaluations pointed to the need to understand science centers’ role in engagement, interest and recruitment to science, and the need for further education and training of science centre staff. Expand will include the aspects raised in these evaluations in its research and development program illustrated in the overview above.
The project builds on methods of user engagements drawn from action-research and participatory research in addition to the focus on practice-related and design-based research approaches.
The project Expand involves ass.prof Merethe Frøyland as project leader, professor Dagny Stuedahl as researcher, Ph.D. student Ingrid Eikeland as well as master students from different university departments and university colleges in Norway.