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.
Director of Learning Experiences, Thinkery
Adrienne Barnett has over two decades of STEAM education and museum administration experience working in science/children’s museums, including Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA and Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA.
In 2015, she returned to her hometown of Austin to join Thinkery, bringing her passion for informal education and a commitment to community engagement. She’s been an Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Diversity & Leadership Fellow since 2010 and has a BS in Geology from the University of Texas, a Master of Museum Studies and Master of Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA.
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