Monday, February 20, 2012

Deputy Director of Research at SciPlay (NY)

Deputy Director of Research
Sara Lee Schupf Family Center for Play, Science, and Technology Learning (SciPlay)
New York Halls of Science
Queens, NY

Departmental Role: SciPlay is a new national applied research center on Play, Science, and Technology Learning. SciPlay designs and studies how to use play as a medium for science learning across both informal and formal education settings. SciPlay runs numerous initiatives that utilize the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) as a laboratory for studying learning. The project most immediately relevant to this position is “SciGames: A Technology-enhanced Model for Bridging Informal and Formal Science Learning” funded by the National Science Foundation’s Transforming STEM Education program and the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation program. This project focuses on supporting middle school physics learning through students playing technology-enhanced playground games with companion classroom digital apps. This work is in collaboration with Learning Games Network, Parsons The New School of Design, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the New York City Department of Education.

Background: The New York Hall of Science, New York City's only hands-on science museum and host to close to a half a million visitors every year, serves the most ethnically diverse population in the country — reflecting the institution’s home borough of Queens and also that of the greater metropolitan area. Built originally for the 1964 World’s Fair, NYSCI continues to capture the spirit of discovery and innovation that was at the heart of this event. NYSCI offers an unparalleled range of 450 interactive exhibits that invite visitors to explore varied aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). By combining these exhibits with the country’s largest outdoor Science Playground along with discovery labs, teacher-training programs, and internationally replicated science education programs for urban youth, NYSCI brings the excitement and understanding of science and technology to children, families, and teachers throughout the New York metro-region and beyond.

Our mission is to bring the excitement and understanding of science and technology to children, families, teachers, and others by galvanizing their curiosity and offering them creative, participatory ways to learn.

NYSCI has approximately 90 full-time and over 150 part-time staff-members.

Function: The Deputy Director of Research for SciPlay will work closely with SciPlay’s Director to oversee the research requirements of the SciGames project as well as the day- to-day operations of the SciPlay center ensuring that all deliverables are met. The Deputy Director of Research for SciPlay is also expected to develop her or his own program of research and with the support of SciPlay’s Director and the NYSCI infrastructure lead several major grant proposal submissions each year.

Principal Responsibilities:
1. Design and lead the research to be conducted on the SciGames project, including quantitative and qualitative instrument design to capture changes in science learning and motivation, lead the planning and execution of the research, oversee data collection, analyze data, generate interim analyses, and interface with the external evaluator. The person in this position will also produce reports, position papers, and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed or refereed journals.
2. In consultation with SciPlay’s Director, design, develop, and implement strategies for evaluating new and ongoing research projects toward establishing the efficacy of play as a science, technology, engineering, and math learning methodology.
3. Consult, collaborate, and advise SciPlay researchers on their research designs. Establish goals throughout project development and implementation, and assist researchers in developing rationale/need statements, logic models, evaluation tools, and annotated resource lists for each active project.
4. Work closely with SciPlay’s Director and Development department to conceptualize and develop major fundraising proposals and budgets with significant research and evaluation components that support the SciPlay Center.
5. Seek and manage relationships with researchers in academic and independent institutions in science education (formal and informal), learning technologies, gaming, youth development, evaluation, and policy. Along with the SciPlay Director represent the organization in strategic alliances with organizations and institutions in these fields.
6. Conduct other duties as assigned by SciPlay’s Director.

Supervisory Responsibilities: SciPlay’s research fellows and assistants, project managers, professional development and curriculum development staff, as well as part-time fellows and interns.

Education: Ph.D. or Ed.D. in one or more of the following fields: science education, learning sciences, instructional design, museum education, communication/media, psychology, sociology, and/or anthropology.
· A passion for the importance of play as an essential human competency and core ingredient in effective teaching and learning.
· Must be someone who is inherently interdisciplinary and collaborative, and who brings to SciPlay a knowledge of how to develop and test innovative instructional programs in the STEM fields.
· This individual should be passionate about free-choice learning, and equally committed to enhancing the quality of formal education experiences by leveraging the diverse resources found at NYSCI.
· A track record of using technologies to develop innovative learning environments and/or programs to support creative, engaged science learning.
· Experience conducting research on the design and study of science curricula and/or science learning environments using mixed methods. Experience managing all aspects of such research.
· Proficiency with quantitative statistical analysis software such as SAS, SPSS, or STATA and qualitative video analysis software such as Studiocode.
· An effective manager, team builder, and collaborator, skilled at leveraging the talents of others.
· Excellent communication and writing skills.

Qualified candidates should send resume with cover letter and salary range/requirements. No calls please.
Application Deadline: February 28, 2012
Targeted Start Date: Immediately

To apply, submit a cover letter, salary requirement, and resume to:
New York Hall of Science
ATTN: SciPlay Search
47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY 11368
Or email (preferred) to: Please include “SciPlay” in subject line.