Lindsay Maldonado

Lindsay Maldonado developed an interest in informal learning experiences during her undergraduate years at Northeastern Illinois University, when she conducted research at the Chicago Children’s Museum to identify the museum programs and exhibits most likely to promote collaborative learning and foster a passion for science, technology, engineering and math by engaging children and families in STEM experiences. While pursuing her master’s degree in child development at the Erikson Institute, she coordinated the development of early childhood and family programs for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Today, as director of audience research and evaluation at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Maldonado leads the Shedd’s efforts to understand and enhance the visitor experience. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in applied child development at the Erikson Institute and Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include family learning and engagement and cultural variations in learning and engagement, as well as the role that informal learning institutions play in promoting environmental literacy and connecting children and families to the natural world.

Posts by Lindsay Maldonado

Symmetry in Nature

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Despite being an urban metropolis, Chicago is surprisingly a great city for nature lovers. We are lucky enough to have access to some incredible natural spaces, both inside and outdoors. Two of my go-to nature spots in the winter are the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s […]

Pattern walk at the Field Museum

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Today I visited the Field Museum of Natural History. Another one of my favorite Chicago museums. The Field Museum houses thousands of artifacts from dinosaur bones to pottery and clothing from ancient civilizations. Again you may be thinking, math? Isn’t this a natural history museum? With thousands of artifacts on display, […]

Researcher for a day: What kinds of animals live in the Amazon?

posted by Lindsay Maldonado By day, I’m a researcher at Shedd Aquarium. I study people though, not animals – but, at Shedd, there are also a lot of people who do study animals. Some of these people are conservation research scientists or aquarists, who use math, and science, to help them learn more about the […]

Museums and Math: The Perfect Pair

posted by Lindsay Maldonado Museums are likely the most common setting for informal learning. Unlike formal learning (i.e., traditional classroom learning), informal learning is voluntary, unstructured, and learner-led. These settings provide a variety of learning experiences for a diverse group of learners. Museums offer opportunities to be hands-on with objects and even live animals. Museum […]