Analogy Supports Learning a Basic Engineering Principle in Museum Settings

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Columbus KL (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Dedre Gentner , Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Analogical processes can support STEM learning in naturalistic settings. In studies carried out in Chicago museums, analogical comparison was used to teach children the basic engineering principle of bracing for stable construction. In one study, a brief analogical intervention improved children’s understanding of stability in buildings. In another study, children gained insight into how to build a stable bridge. This work suggests ways to instill STEM learning in and out of schools.