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Catherine Haden


Email: chaden AT luc DOT edu
Areas of interest: Parent-child relationships, STEM education and learning

Dr. Haden’s research program focuses on how children’s interactions with their caregivers can influence what they learn and remember.  Recent work addresses how parent-child conversations during hands-on activities impact children’s learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Dr. Haden’s research also considers whether parent-child conversations and hands-on activities help children remember what they have learned and apply it to new situations.  The research takes place in area museums, including the Chicago Children’s Museum and involves children who range in age from 4 to 10 years old.  Ultimately the research is aimed at contributing to understanding and improving young children’s STEM education and learning.  Early exposure to fun, creative and meaningful engineering experiences may boost interest and the eventual pursuit of engineering and technology education paths by students. Ultimately, we aim to be able to recommend methods that parents and other educators can use with young children in STEM learning situations to foster early understanding of the scientific method, develop knowledge of STEM-related concepts, and potentially increase interest in future science education and career options.  Dr. Haden’s research is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.