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Voces de Esperanza (Voices of Hope): An Exhibit and Framework for Supporting Climate Change Conversations with Latine Audiences

September 1, 2023 - August 31, 2027 | Exhibitions

This Integrating Research and Practice project leverages museum exhibits as unique family learning spaces to promote community engagement in critical climate change conversations. Most science centers have not been adequately equipped to help diverse learners engage in climate change conversations, in part because tested climate communication approaches have not included culturally-specific strategies. This project will develop an exhibit design framework to specifically address that need. Through equitable, culturally-driven co-development and evaluation strategies that include Latine(x/o) community members in all aspects of project development, this project will offer Latine(x/o) youth and families opportunities to build awareness of and skills in climate change conversations that can foster climate actions in their communities. AB Cultural Drivers (ABCD) and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will collaborate with community members through a Colaborativo (a community collaborative), formed through partner organization, Adelante Mujeres. Together they will work toward the development and evaluation of a 500-800 sq. ft. bilingual (Spanish-English) museum exhibit, document and develop resources to help others in the informal science learning (ISL) field co-create and co-evaluate learning experiences, and co-develop an exhibit design framework that forefronts Colaborativo processes and identifies culturally-specific strategies to support climate conversations, especially among Latine(x/o) exhibit visitors.

Knowledge-building evaluation will investigate Colaborativo processes, exhibit design for climate conversations, and the visitor experience at the exhibit. All evaluation questions, outcomes, methods, and interpretations will be selected with the Colaborativo, with support from evaluation team members. Leveraging existing expertise and experience in community based participatory research, the team will use, and document for others to use, project management and navigation structures that help community groups form, be creative, and exercise their power to achieve results. The project will explore Colaborativo members' sense of belonging and leadership and project team members' understanding of practices that foster belonging for community partners and members. Methods for Colaborativo processes may include journaling, photovoice, and interviews that could be qualitatively coded for themes. The exhibition will integrate prior science communication research in climate anxiety, hope, and belonging which include well-tested approaches to starting climate change conversations and keeping them open. Drawing on participatory popular education and community based participatory research activities, the Colaborativo will shape learning experiences for the participants. Evaluation for exhibit experiences will likely explore perceptions of personal and community climate change relevance, skills for engaging in climate change conversations, and climate action communication skills to inform exhibit development through front end, formative, remedial, and summative phases. Methods may include 100 naturalistic observations, 100 interviews, and video observations of 25 families, and participants will be recruited from regional Latine(x/o)-focused organizations. The resulting resources for public and professional audiences will be informed by Colaborativo-led review that includes all project team members and external review from project advisors. Resources for community members will illustrate and support climate change conversations, and be developed to capture interest--a graphic one-sheet, a facilitation guide, and a video guide. In addition to the exhibit design framework, resources for professionals are expected to include toolkits for others to use to implement a Colaborativo approach, infographics, and videos to summarize project findings for the ISL field.


Funding Program: Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 2314307
Funding Amount: $1,999,483.00


  • IMG 1018
    Principal Investigator
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Nelda Reyes Garcia
    Co-Principal Investigator
    AB Cultural Drivers
  • Resource Type: Projects | Project Descriptions | Projects
    Discipline: Climate
    Audience: Evaluators | Families | Museum/ISE Professionals | Youth/Teen (up to 17)
    Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Exhibits
    Access and Inclusion: Hispanic/Latinx Communities

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