science everywhere logo

Science Everywhere

Science Everywhere logo

Engaging entire neighborhoods in science learning with technology


Science Everywhere is an NSF funded research study aimed at understanding how technology can engage entire communities in science learning. We utilize a design-based research approach in which we co-design innovative science learning technology with families, teachers, and leaders in a community, implement that technology in the community, and then redesign that technology in an iterative design process. Broadly, this study will contribute to theory on connected learning by developing an understanding of how to connect science learning at home, school, and community spaces with technology. This study also aims to contribute to our understanding of parent-child learning, interactive display design, and social media for learning.




Woman with children observing the results of a cooking experiment that involved brownies.

After School Programs
In Science Everywhere we run after school programs that focus on science learning in life relevant contexts. Programs include topics like kitchen chemistry, engineering and design through Minecraft, and investigating how things fly.

Cartoon image of people using ipads and interacting with a large electronic display.

New Technology
For this study we developed a suite of science learning technologies. These technologies include a social media app for science learning and an interactive display for schools and public spaces.




Parents and children designing together. They are placing sticky notes on a wall.

Co-Design with Families
In our Science Everywhere design sessions we work with parents and children from our communities to co-design technologies for science learning. These families help us understand the process of making connections from school to home and the dynamics of parent-child and peer-to-peer learning.

Student in a science class holding a compass.

School Integration
We also work with science teachers in our communities to help us with the design of our technologies and to integrate our technologies into science classrooms. These partnerships help us to further investigate connected learning practices.




Partners and People

There are several groups that partner together to make Science Everywhere a possibility. These organizations include the University of Maryland iSchool and College of Education, the University of Washington iSchool, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Solid Rock Church, Highline Public Schools, and KidsTeam UW. The principal investigators of this study include Dr. June Ahn and Dr. Tamara Clegg from the University of Maryland, and Dr. Jason Yip from the University of Washington.

Other members of the research team include:
Dr. Jochen Rick, designer and developer
Elizabeth Bonsignore, PhD candidate at UMD iSchool
Daniel Pauw, PhD candidate at UMD iSchool
Judith Uchidiuno, PhD student at CMU
Austin Beck, PhD student at UMD College of Education
Kelly Mills, PhD student at UMD College of Education
Caroline Pitt, PhD student at UW iSchool

Past research team members:
Meridian Witt, Media Arts student at Wellesley College






Papers, Posters, and Presentations

Yip, J., Clegg, T., Ahn, J., Uchidiuno, J., Bonsignore, E., Beck, A., Pauw, D., Mills, K. The Evolution of Roles and Social Bonds During Child-Parent Co-design. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016). [PDF]
Pauw, D. A., Clegg, T. L., Ahn, J., Bonsignore, E., Yip, J. C., & Uchidiuno, J. (2015). Navigating Connected Inquiry Learning with ScienceKit. Presented at the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2015. [PDF]
Ahn, J., Clegg, T., Yip, J., Bonsignore, E., Pauw, D., Gubbels, M., Lewittes, B., & Rhodes, E. (2014). Seeing the unseen learner: designing and using social media to recognize children’s science dispositions in action. Learning, Media and Technology, (ahead-of-print), 1-31. [LINK]
Yip, J.C., Clegg, T.L., Ahn, J., Bonsignore, E., Gubbels, M., Rhodes, E., & Lewittes, B. (2014). The role of identity development within tensions in ownership of science learning. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014). [PDF]
Clegg, T.L., Bonsignore, E., Ahn, J., Yip, J.C., Pauw, D., & Gubbels, M. (2014). Capturing personal and social science: Technology for integrating the building blocks of disposition. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014). [PDF]
Yip, J.C., Ahn, J., Clegg, T.L., Bonsignore, E., Pauw, D. & Gubbels., M. (2014). “It helped me do my science.” A case of designing social media technologies for children in science learning. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference of Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2014). [PDF]


Kidsteam: Making technology for kids, with kids.

Kidsteam: Children and Adults Working as Design Partners

Making technology for kids without working directly with them, “is like making clothes for someone you don’t know the size of.” – Thomas, Kidsteam Child Design Partner Alumni


The child and adult members of Kidsteam meet twice a week at the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab to co-design technologies that support children’s learning and play. Kidsteam research enhances our understanding of intergenerational design techniques and of how to build technologies that are more relevant to children’s interests and needs.

Kidsteam and The Cooperative Inquiry Method

In 1998, Dr. Allison Druin adapted the Cooperative Inquiry method of design for use with children and established Kidsteam. The Kidsteam Cooperative Inquiry design team asks for a long-term partnership between its adult and child team members and offers a set of techniques that foster intergenerational communication and provide actionable design feedback. This feedback can be used in all stages of development, from early brainstorming to late-stage testing, and across technology platforms. Over the past two decades, design teams in universities and corporations around the world have employed the Cooperative Inquiry method.

The University of Maryland’s Kidsteam is the first intergenerational Cooperative Inquiry design team. Kidsteam brings together ~8 children, ages 7-11, with researchers and technologists with diverse backgrounds to design technologies for children twice a week throughout the academic year. Because of their long tenure, Kidsteam kids are experts in more than being kids: they are experts in collaborating with adults and other kids, in prototyping techniques, and in communicating their ideas and the importance of their ideas.

Interested in Joining or Working with Kidsteam?

Contact Beth Bonsignore, Director of Kidsteam, at for more information. Join Kidsteam as one of our adult design partners, an industry or non-profit partner, or as a visiting scholar to learn the Cooperative Inquiry method of design.


Program Highlights


Kidsteam at the Lincoln Memorial. Kidsteam was invited to help the National Park Service co-design the future of the Lincoln Memorial’s visitor experience. The team worked with 37 other adults from places such as the Pentagon, Sesame Workshop, Yahoo, Ford’s Theatre, AARP, and various parts of the National Park Service to envision the future of this iconic monument.


Kidsteam at the White House. Kidsteam visited the White House to prototype the online Every Kid in a Park experience with local 4th graders, members of the Department of the Interior, and of the National Park Service. The Every Kid in a Park initiative provides 4th graders and their families with a free annual pass to visit America’s natural wonders and historic sites.


Emmy-Winning Interactions. Nickelodeon won the 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media – User Experience And Visual Design for their Nick App, which features the “Do Not Touch” button that was developed with Kidsteam. The button was recognized for its, “array of disruptive comedy and surprises.”