Western Psychological Association

National Living Laboratory Western Regional Symposium: Museum-Research Partnerships April 23-24 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, Oregon

Are you looking for a new way to connect to the public and a unique way to engage research participants? Join us to learn more about our successful model to connect researchers with local museums.

The National Living Laboratory Initiative is an NSF-funded collaborative project connecting child development researchers (cognitive, social, educational, anthropological, etc) and museums in order to foster public awareness and engagement in current research. The Living Laboratory works by creating space in museums for researchers to collect data from museum visitors, and is a unique learning experience for all involved.

Museum visitors learn about cognitive research through one-on-one conversations with scientists, and by observing and participating in authentic research studies.  Collaborating scientists gain access to a large and diverse pool of participants, and gain skills in talking to laypeople about their work.  Museum educators gain access to cutting-edge research in child development.  On-site research programs have been established at four regional “hub” sites in Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Madison, WI; and Portland, OR.  We invite you to learn more about our work at www.livinglab.org, and at our upcoming Regional Symposium, preceding the WPA Conference.

The symposium is open to child development researchers and museum professionals who are looking to learn more about the Living Lab model and for those who are looking to start similar partnerships in their community

This will be an opportunity to:

  • experience Living Laboratory® first-hand at one of the project’s hub sites by observing families engage with cognitive scientists in the museum setting
  • learn about the public education and professional development materials that make up the Living Lab “toolkit”
  • discuss our contributions to the museum and research fields
  • participate in discussions that highlight current research topics, and small group activities aimed at helping attendees implement, grow and sustain successful collaborative programs.

Ready to RSVP? Need more information? Curious about funding for travel and lodging?  Please contact West Coast hub leader Annie Douglass at adouglass@omsi.edu, or by phone: 503.797.4572.

RSVP deadline is February 15, 2014.