– Marian University recently formed a new Living Laboratory partnership with the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac. The partnership grew as part of the growing series of National Living Laboratories (NLL) aligning museums across with country with colleges or universities in their area to conduct undergraduate research.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate students and their faculty mentors to share research about how children learn with families who participate in designated activities at the Children’s Museum,” said Dr. Michelle Majewski, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Marian University.
The goal of the National Living Lab initiative is to assist researchers and informal science educators in collaboration that foster public awareness, engagement and understanding of the scientific study of children’s learning and development.
“This collaboration with Marian is exciting on many fronts,” said Andrea Welsch, executive director at the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac. “Not only do we get to provide an opportunity for children to engage in fun, educational activities, but their parents – along with our staff and the Marian students – will learn about the growing application of science research in the understanding of social and emotional development.”
Throughout the fall, Marian educators and students will begin to design the research experiment. The research will be installed as a temporary exhibit in the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac in January 2015, with the research being conducted from February – April 2015. Results of this initial phase of Living Laboratory will be presented to the community before May 15, 2015.
The Marian University and Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac partnership is only the second Living Laboratory in Wisconsin. Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac will host the Living Lab within the museum’s exhibit space, but the laboratory will be managed by Marian University research students, under the guidance of Marian professors and advisors.
In addition, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac has been awarded a National Living Laboratory Stipend Award to assist the museum and Marian University in establishing the laboratory.
Marian University was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac, Wis. The institution has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the state, and strives to live its core values as a community committed to learning, dedicated to service and social justice and joined together by spiritual traditions. Marian offers undergraduate, adult, master’s and doctoral degree programs at its main campus and in facilities throughout Wisconsin.