August 14, 2020 / News & Blog

Announcing the interPLAY Project to Support STEM Skills for Early Learners in Children’s Museums and Science Centers

—Association of Children’s Museums and STEM Research Center at Oregon State University Partner on Four-Year National Science Foundation-Funded Project—

ARLINGTON, VA (August 14, 2020)—The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and the STEM Research Center at Oregon State University (OSU) are collaborating on “interPLAY: Developing STEM Skills through Play and Exhibit Design for Early Learners in Children’s Museums and Science Centers.” This four-year research project focuses on better understanding playful engagement with STEM exhibits for children ages three to eight.

“Children’s museums know that play supports learning, and that the designed, interactive experiences we facilitate can help scaffold this learning,” said Laura Huerta Migus, Executive Director, ACM. “The interPLAY project builds upon ACM’s long-standing work in generating research and establishing quality standards for designing exhibits for early learners.”

The interPLAY project will include a literature review as well as the creation of a STEM for Play framework. Research to test and revise this framework will be conducted at children’s museum and science center sites. Further information about the project will be shared in the coming months.

“This project provides the opportunity for a much-needed expansion of the existing research on play and STEM learning for early learners,” said Martin Storksdieck, PhD, Director of the STEM Research Center. “This is an important area for the STEM Research Center, aligning with our goals to advance our understanding of—and broaden participation in—early STEM engagement.”

This “Research in Service to Practice” study has received funding from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program.

About Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) champions children’s museums worldwide. With more than 460 members in 50 states and 19 countries, ACM leverages the collective knowledge of children’s museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. Learn more at

About STEM Research Center at Oregon State University (OSU)
The STEM Research Center consists of a team of dedicated professionals of various disciplinary backgrounds who conduct applied research on STEM education and science engagement at the intersection of research, policy and practice, with a strong focus on equity and social justice. Learn more at