What is "Living Laboratory"?
Living Laboratory® aims to educate the public about child development by immersing museum visitors in the process of scientific discovery. Since 2005, Living Laboratory at the Museum of Science has connected the public with child development research by collaborating with local research institutions - including Harvard University, Boston College, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Boston University, Children's Hospital and others. The program was developed in the Discovery Center, and receives support from the National Science Foundation.
In the Living Laboratory’s educational model, scientists (in disciplines including developmental psychology, cognitive science, educational psychology, cognitive neuroscience, social psychology and related fields) recruit participants and conduct their studies within dynamic exhibits at their local museum, rather than behind closed doors. Families visiting the museum are invited to participate in on-going research projects (on topics including math and language cognition, causal learning, emotion recognition, and social reasoning), and to engage in one-on-one conversations with the scientists. Collaborating scientists work closely with informal science educators to communicate the questions and methods of their work to parents and other caregivers via informal conversations and hands-on activities that illustrate recent child development research.
Learn more about the Living Laboratory Initiative
SDCDM Living Laboratory
San Diego Children's Discovery Museum and California State University San Marcos Social Cognitive Development Lab have worked together since the spring of 2014 to encourage science engagement and awareness in the community surrounding CSUSM. Young children and families who visit the Museum learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math) concepts and other aspects of the world (e.g. different cultures) through active exploration of exhibits, and participation in specially-designed camps, workshops and events. The Social Cognitive Development team also conducts interviews at the Museum, supporting empirical research on children’s development, and allowing visitors the opportunity to learn about—and participate in—actual science. Our Living Laboratory partnership also helps to support free events for the community, as well as opportunities for student involvement in scientific research.
Who are the blue people? Questions and answers for parents.
Who are we?
We are members of the CSUSM R.O.C.K.S.T.A.R. Lab. “ROCKSTAR” stands for Research On Children’s Knowledge of Social Thinking And Reasoning. We are graduate and undergraduate students studying psychological science, human development and child/adolescent development at Cal State San Marcos. Dr. Kimberly Vanderbilt is the director of the ROCKSTAR lab.
Check out our website to learn more about us! faculty.csusm.edu/kvanderbilt
What are doing here?
We want to know more about how kids see the world! We have some games we can play together to learn more about how kids think about learn. And kids can win stickers for playing with us!
We’re here to help SDCDM promote STEM education for children and families in San Diego County. We want to help kids and their families learn about science first hand, through science-based games and even real science interviews!
What are we studying?
We’re interested in answering questions about how kids understand and navigate the social world around them. We’re interested in how children learn about people—such as how smart or honest a person is—and how children learn to navigate the complicated social world we live in—such as understanding other’s thoughts and actions, and knowing when to trust or share with others.
How do we learn about kids?
We play games with kids and ask them questions to learn more about how they think and learn about the world. We may play a game, or read some stories about made-up characters. Afterward, we’ll ask kids some questions about the games or the story characters—but don’t worry, there are no right or wrong answers; we just want to know what kids think! And all answers are always anonymous.
What do we do with the information?
Once we’ve interviewed a bunch of kids (usually 100-200!), we look for patterns across the responses. Then, we use those patterns to figure out how kids at a particular age (like 4-year-olds) see the world, and how that differs from kids who are older or younger. Then, we share what we’ve learned with other researchers, teachers, and caregivers. That way, we can all better understand kids’ unique perspective of the world, and how to better help kids learn and grow!
The Lab is an integral part of the Museum's Exhibit Innovation Team: PlayLAB. Learn more