Can relationships formed with media characters like Dora the Explorer or Elmo help young children learn science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills? A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Northwestern University and Georgetown University hopes to answer that question in a five-year project funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UCR Today reports. UCR’s share of the grant is $885,745. “Many people are involved in designing educational games, and there is a lot of interest in creating high-quality and interactive media,” explained Rebekah Richert, associate professor of psychology at UC Riverside and...

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