The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments for public and professional audiences; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and develop understandings of deeper learning by participants. Whether for personal satisfaction, professional advancement, or fulfilling learning requirements for pre-K through graduate and professional education, greater possibilities for accessing and understanding informal education are emerging through increased access to STEM learning anywhere and anytime. These personalized learning options and participatory learning environments are also expanding and broadening participation in STEM and blurring many distinctions between formal and informal learning settings. Many of these changes are related directly or indirectly to the pervasiveness and accessibility of digital technologies. AISL invites proposals that: address immediate challenges and opportunities in informal education; anticipate radically different structures, functions, and purposes of informal STEM education; challenge existing assumptions about learning and learning environments; and envision the future needs of diverse learners, educators, and STEM professionals in this nation.
Deadline: Nov. 14, 2014