Our aim is to advance understanding of how preschool children (aged 3-6 years), think, learn, and communicate about science, by investigating how specific gestures, actions, and movement can enhance science learning in young children. This could lead to better exhibits for young children in Science Centres.
If you want to take part in a study we will outline the procedures in full when you meet us at a participating museum. A typical study involves researchers observing children interacting with preselected exhibits. At these exhibits adults and children may be video recorded or observed by a researcher using an observation sheet, as they interact with the exhibit. Occasionally, we may also collect data about children’s movements at the exhibit using Kinect sensors or fitness watches. Children and adults may also be asked a few questions by a researcher about their experience and about everyday science ideas such (environment, forces, water). This will take about 10-15 minutes and will also be video-recorded. Depending on the museum, adults may also be asked to complete a survey with demographic information about their child and a set of rating questions about their thoughts about science and science activities they do at home.
Can I take part?
We are specifically studying young children’s interaction with science exhibits, and we are working with children visiting museums and Science Centres with nursery groups and some families visiting with young children between the ages of 3 and 6. If you are a preschool or a family from an area local to one of our research sites, and would like to take part, we would love to hear from you. Simply get in touch through our contact page, and we will let you know when our next available study is running, and how you can take part.
Who sees the results of the study?
Results will be shared through conferences and journal publications, social media, project website and blog posts. Your child’s name will never be used in any published results, and we will ask you if we can use any video data. Please note that your personal information will be kept strictly confidential unless evidence of wrongdoing or potential harm is disclosed during the interview (in accordance to British and American Psychological Society guidelines). Although such instances are rare, in such cases researchers may be obliged to contact relevant statutory agencies.
What are the risks to taking part?
There are no risks to taking part. The research should not interfere with your child’s visit to the exhibits. If children shows any sign of being uncomfortable, we will immediately stop engaging them in the research activities.
This research has been reviewed and approved by Moray House School of Education Ethics Committee and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institutional Review Board and Office for Protection of Research Subjects (email@example.com) and conforms to all ethical guidelines outlined by the British and American Psychological Societies.
As we are using child data, parental consent will be obtained on behalf of the children, but during the data collection, children will also be asked verbally if they consent. If at any point children appear to be uncomfortable or distressed, the researchers will stop the collection of data.
Please note that your personal information will be kept strictly confidential unless evidence of wrongdoing or potential harm is disclosed during the interview (in accordance to British and American Psychological Society guidelines). Although such instances are rare, in such cases researchers may be obliged to contact relevant statutory agencies.
Where is my data stored? (UK)
Video and other digital data will be stored securely on University of Edinburgh’s and University College London’s Data Safe Haven, with access only to the research team. This is a high quality, enterprise-class storage system with guaranteed backup and resilience. Your data will NEVER be shared with third parties. The data will be kept for 10 years on the UK Data Archive database, and then destroyed. After the project is over, we will make anonymized data and results available to other trusted researchers, who request it for the purpose of research. Note, given the sensitive nature of video data, video recordings will not be made publicly available.
Where is my data stored? (US)
Data generated under this project in the USA will be made available to others in electronic form (e.g., spreadsheets, word-processing files containing transcriptions; these data will be kept in computers managed by the Co-PI and stored in University-approved, encrypted cloud-based storage. In addition, data may be deposited in UIUC’s IDEALS (Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship) campus digital repository. IDEALS provides preservation, search, and browsing functions at http://www.ideals.illinois.edu/. IDEALS provides a direct deposit mechanism for loading digital content and assigning the appropriate metadata for the content. IDEALS will provide the capability of open access for this project. In addition, the University of Illinois Library is developing a trusted digital repository environment that will be compliant with all preservation and archiving standards.
Data sharing (US & UK)
We plan to make all of our data accessible to other researchers, however the final dataset will be stripped of identifiers. Even though the final dataset will be anonymised prior to release for sharing, these data will only be made available to users under a data-sharing that provides for: (1) a commitment to only using the data for research purposes; (2) a commitment to securing the data using appropriate computer technology; and (3) a commitment to destroying or returning the data after analyses are completed.
You have the right to request access to, copies of and rectification or (in some cases) erasure of personal data held by the University of Edinburgh and can request that we restrict processing or object to processing as well as (in some cases) the right to data portability (i.e. the right to ask to put your data into a format that can be transferred easily to a different organisation). If you would like to discuss your rights further, please get in touch.