The University of Texas at Arlington and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History today announce the launch of the Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth museum, a collaboration that allows scientists to engage with the public.
Marc Schwartz, education professor and director of the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education at UT Arlington, will help guide the work of the new Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Center opens Jan. 14, 2014 in the first-floor gallery and is a partnership
between the museum and UT Arlington’s College of Education and Health
Professions. It will be guided by the University’s Southwest Center for Mind,
Brain and Education and will be the only such center in the southwest and one of
five in the United States.
collaboration fulfills our mission to educate students, encourage learning,
support faculty research and engage the community,” said Jeanne Gerlach, dean
of the College of Education and Health Professions. “What usually unfolds in a
university setting will now take place in a public setting with museum-goers as
the potential subjects. Out of that interaction we hope to see unpredicted but
President Van A. Romans said he envisions a unique process of discovery for the
new Center that the community, researchers and the museum will find attractive.
are thrilled to be collaborating with UT Arlington’s College
of Education and Health Professions
and its Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education,” Romans said. “Our
institutions share a vision of developing an educational research program, of
collaborating with other area researchers, and of giving guests the
opportunities to have first-hand experiences with the processes of science.”
Research and Learning Center will invite museum visitors to participate in short
research interactions lasting no more than 15 minutes. The work will take place
in a 1,200 square foot area that contains movable furnishings.
will get an opportunity to experience the same thing that they would in a
laboratory with a scientist carrying out his research,” said Marc Schwartz,
director of the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education. “The tools may
simply be a hammer and building blocks or they could include something more
elaborate, but the interactions are the bases for actual research needed for
the scientist to complete his study.”
Research and Learning Center is modeled after Boston’s Living Laboratory, whose
partners include the Boston Museum of Science with Boston College, Boston
University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
Palko, a Fort Worth businessman, philanthropist, museum board member and
supporter of the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education, provided
start-up funding for the Research and Learning Center.
chair of the museum’s Innovation Committee, he set out in 2009 to help the
museum better foster creativity and innovativeness. He also wanted to help the
museum forge stronger partnerships with area schools and universities.
the Dallas-Fort Worth region has several science museums and universities, it
has always been a challenge to bridge the gap between scientists and the
general public.” Palko said. “We hope
that this experience will strengthen support for researchers, strengthen
science literacy and transform lives through extraordinary learning
Jan. 14 opening will feature Dan Popa, a UT Arlington associate professor of
electrical engineering, who is researching the use of robotic technology in the
treatment of children with autism. Read more about his work at www.uta.edu/news/releases/2012/07/robot-autism-popa.php.
scientists from other area universities will be invited to conduct studies at
the Research and Learning Center. Most of the research will take place during
two-hour blocks on Saturdays. Some research will occur weekdays by appointment
only. Read more at www.fwmsh.org/research-and-learning-center.
About The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas
at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,300
students and 2,300 faculty members in the epicenter of North Texas. It is the
second largest institution in The University of Texas System. Total research
expenditures reached almost $78 million last year. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
About the Fort Worth Museum of
Science and History
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History was
established in 1941 and is dedicated to lifelong learning. The museum is
anchored by its rich collections and engages children and adult guests through
creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the history of
Texas and the Southwest. The current $80 million campus opened in November 2009,
marking the culmination of an extensive multiyear fundraising campaign. The museum
is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more
information about the museum, visit www.fortworthmuseum.org or call 817-255-9300.