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Kirsten Ellenbogen

Director of Evaluation and Research in Learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota


Kirsten Ellenbogen is the Director of Evaluation and Research in Learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She focuses her research on the role of museums in family life, designing exhibits to encourage science conversations, and the ways in which scientific visualization technology can be used to engage the public in exploring scientific data and understanding complex phenomena. She began her work in museums as a demonstrator at the Detroit Science Center in 1987. Her award-winning exhibition development work has focused on inquiry experiences, multimedia interactives, and dual-purpose spaces 

appropriate for both school and family groups. She was the project director of the Center for Informal Learning & Schools at King’s College London at its inception. She was also an affiliated researcher of the Museum Learning Collaborative. Most recently, she was a Senior Associate at the Institute for Learning Innovation where she was the principal investigator of an NSF-funded initiative designed to coalesce the last decade of research on learning in museums into frameworks for practitioners. Recent publications have included chapters in “Handbook for Small Science Centers,” “In Principle, In Practice: Museums as Learning Institutions,” “Research in Science Education: Past, Present and Future,” and, “Cognition in a Digital World.” She received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. from the University of Chicago.


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