Dr. Claire Christensen is a Senior Education Researcher at SRI International. She is a principal investigator with expertise in educational media research. While she studies many areas of media and its impact on youth, the focus of our conversation was mostly around STEM media. Claire is extremely knowledgeable and passionate of educational media research. She has a PhD and MA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a BS in Mass Communications (Television Production).
Claire shares the importance of research on the impacts of media on youth. She shares specific examples of research she has done and is doing and how that research helps inform children's programming. STEM programming and showing diverse representation of people who work in STEM fields is critical in getting more women and POC to enter STEM careers. We talk about the importance of this and how this is changing and growing.
We also talk about kids and screen time and how the pandemic has impacted how we view our kids' screen time. It's not always a bad thing!
Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio
Acronyms, Definitions, and Fact Check
SRI International - a 75-year pioneering research institute with a rich history supporting government and industry. SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) is organized around broad disciplines and capabilities, from research and development divisions and labs to groups who excel at identifying new opportunities, developing products and creating custom solutions.
Analytical Engineer - a modern data team member that is responsible for modeling data to provide clean, accurate datasets so that different users within the company can work with them. Their role entails transforming, testing, and documenting data. (https://www.altexsoft.com/blog/analytics-engineer/)
The Magic School Bus - an animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. Running originally from 1994 to 1997, the series received critical acclaim for its use of celebrity voice talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. (wikipedia)
Claire's LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairegchristensen/
Claire's Twitter Handle: @research_claire
"Molly of Denali" - The daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray, her family, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini.
Informational Text - a subset of the larger category of nonfiction (Duke & Bennett-Armistead, 2003). Its primary purpose is to inform the reader about the natural or social world. (https://umaine.edu/edhd/research-outreach/lifespan-literacy-community/programs/correll-book-award/what-is-informational-text/)
Adaptive Learning - an educational method which uses computer algorithms as well as artificial intelligence to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner. (wikipedia)
"The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" - designed to spark a love of learning and an interest in science and engineering in preschool-aged children. (https://www.pbs.org/parents/shows/cat-in-the-hat/about)