Mary Ann’s career has been shaped by 18 years spent at the Science Museum of Minnesota, establishing and running a center where teens developed and presented informal science experiences to public audiences in the museum and neighborhood settings. Her Master’s program field study took her to Northern Ireland to help establish museum-based youth programs. She completed a two-year rotation at the National Science Foundation as a program officer for the Informal Science Education program. In Pittsburgh she was the Curator for Public Engagement at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with a focus on learning research in museum exhibitions and programs. These experiences led to her current research interest in the role that content-rich community resources can play in supporting community learning for people of all ages, and the ways community knowledge can inform the work of these same institutions. Mary Ann holds a Ph.D. in Learning Science and Policy from the University of Pittsburgh (2016) and a M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota (2007). Currently through Steiner Learning Design she helps organizations with learning research projects, program design and collaboration development.
Designing and researching informal learning and community collaboration