What is Thinkery Connect?
Thinkery Connect is a museum-university-community research partnership between Thinkery and The Center for Applied Cognitive Science at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Psychology. The objective of this partnership is to translate best practices from learning sciences into museum operations. Our educational philosophy is grounded in play-based, inquiry-rich learning experiences.
We design exhibits and curated educational resources that encourage visitors to develop STEAM “Habits of Mind” such as critical thinking, systematic exploration, resolute behavior, hypothesis-testing, experimentation, and trouble-shooting. These process skills are critical to early STEAM learning as well as to school readiness more generally.
Focusing on STEAM Habits of Mind that support school readiness skills can help communities better prepare children for school and set the foundation for lifelong learning.
Thanks to generous funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), we have constructed Thinkery Connect Headquarters (HQ) which allows us to 1) conduct research on caregiver and child interaction and learning, 2) evaluate visitor experience, 3) prototype exhibit design features and modifications, and 4) collaborate with community partners throughout the city and the state to support early childhood education and development.
Meet The Team
Dr. Cristine Legare
Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Cristine Legare is a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Applied Cognitive Science at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research and training reflect her commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of child development and learning.
As an undergraduate, she took coursework from a variety of social science disciplines, double majoring in human development and cultural studies at the University of California, San Diego. In graduate school, she participated in the Culture and Cognition Program while completing her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan.
Cristine has published more than 80 research articles on topics in cognitive and educational sciences. Her research has been covered by a range of media outlets, including NPR, Nature, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American.
VP of STEAM Learning, Thinkery
Brooke Turner is a passionate education, and programs executive focused on access and equity. Prior to joining Thinkery, Brooke held the role of Vice President of Programs for DivInc and co-founded a edtech startup, Kwaddle. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for impact came about while growing up in San Antonio, where Brooke saw first-hand the power and importance of culture, community, and education in building a more equitable world.
Before that, she attended The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her BA in English and secondary education and special education teaching certification. After years as a classroom teacher, Brooke went on to earn her MA in technical communication with a focus on curriculum and development from Texas State University, which led to a career in the hi-tech industry at NI. From creating STEAM curricula and STEAM educator programs to running global thought-leadership campaigns, Brooke spent a decade growing as a leader in STEAM education and technology.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLS Grant Number MA-10-19-0438-19.
The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations on this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services