Dr. Lucy R. McClain

Science and Education Program Director, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

Graduate Faculty, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Department

ORCID site

 

 

 
3400 Discovery Road
Petersburg, PA 16669
Phone: 814-865-3999

Areas of Expertise

  • Family science learning

  • Learning with mobile technologies

  • Outdoor learning

  • Environmental education

  • Video-based ethnography

  • Discourse analysis

Education

B.S., Archaeological Science, Penn State University (2007)

M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education), Penn State University (2010)

Ph.D., Learning, Design, and Technology, Penn State University (2016)

Courses that I Teach at Penn State

Fall Semester

  • SUST 200 Foundations of Sustainability and Leadership
  • SCIED 455 Field Natural History for Teachers

Spring Semester

  • RPTM 430 Environmental Education Methods and Materials

Grant Work

2018–2022

Research associate.

Transforming Outdoor Places into Learning Spaces. NSF AISL four-year grant project award with Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman (PI) and Dr. Susan Land (co-PI).

2016–2019

Co-principal investigator (co-PI).

STEM Pillars: Supporting Rural Communities with Science Stories, Experts, and Inquiry Activities. IMLS two-year grant project award with Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman (PI) and Dr. Michele Crowl (co-PI).

Publications

Peer reviewed articles: refereed journals

McClain, L. R. & Zimmerman, H. T. (2019). Family connections to local science issues: How scientists use questions to engage families in personally-relevant learning during science-themed workshops. International Journal of Science Education 9(2), 154-170. DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2019.1584419

McClain, L. R. (2018). Parent roles and facilitation strategies during a mobile-based educational experience on a family nature hike. Visitor Studies 21(2), 260-286. DOI: 10.1080/10645578.2018.1548844

McClain, L. R. & Zimmerman, H. T. (2016). Memories on the trail: Families connecting their prior informal learning experiences to the natural world during nature walks. Journal of Interpretation Research 21(2), 21-42.

Zimmerman, H. T., & McClain, L. R. (2016). Family learning outdoors: Guided participation on a nature walk. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 53(6), 919-942. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21254

McClain, L. R. & Zimmerman, H. T. (2016). Technology-mediated engagement with nature: Sensory and social engagement outdoors supported through an e-Trailguide. International Journal of Science Education, Part B (6)4, 385-399. DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2016.1148827

Zimmerman, H. T., Land, S. M., McClain, L. R., Mohney, M. R., Choi, G. W., & Salman, F. H. (2015). Tree Investigators: Supporting families and youth to coordinate observations with scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education 5(1), 44-673 DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2013.832437

McClain, L. R. & Zimmerman, H. T. (2014). Families’ science conversations at a nature center: How prior learning experiences shape understandings of the local environment. Science Education 98(6), 1009-1032. DOI 10.1002/sce.21134

Zimmerman, H. T. & McClain, L. R. (2014). Exploring the outdoors together: Assessing family learning in environmental education. Studies in Educational Evaluation (Special Issue on Evaluating Environmental Education) 41, 38-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2013.09.007

Zimmerman, H. T. & McClain, L. R. (2014). Intergenerational learning at a nature center: Families using prior experiences and participation frameworks to understand raptors. Environmental Education Research 20(2), 177-201. DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2013.775219

Zimmerman, H. T., McClain, L. R., & Crowl, M. (2013). Understanding how families use magnifiers during nature center walks. Research in Science Education 43(5), 1917-1938. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-012-9334-x

Book chapters and non-peer reviewed publications

Zimmerman, H. T., McClain, L. R., & Crowl, M. (2019). Leveraging families’ shared experiences to connect to disciplinary content in ecology: preliminary results from the STEM Pillars museum-library-university partnership. In Katz, P. & Avraamidou, L. (Eds.). Stability and change in science education: Meeting basic learning needs; Homeostasis and Novelty in Teaching and Learning (pp. 41-60). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill/Sense Publishers.

McClain, L. R. (2018). Research, policy, & practice supplement: Bridging natural and digital domains: Attitudes, confidence, and interest in using technology to learn outdoors. A summary of Hougham, R. J., Nutter, M., & Graham, C. (2018). Bridging natural and digital domains: Attitudes, confidence, and interest in using technology to learn outdoors. Journal of Experiential Education 41(2), 154-169.

McClain, L. R. & Zimmerman, H. T. (2016). Integrating mobile technologies into outdoor education to mediate learners’ engagement with nature. In L. Avraamidou & W.-M. Roth (Eds.) Intersections between formal and informal science (pp. 122-137). New York, NY: Routledge.

Media

Research project brings STEM education to rural families. Penn State College of Education, October 2016.

Sustainability Defined podcast. Episode 40: University Sustainability. March 2019.

STEM Pillars: Bringing science to rural libraries & museums. 2019 STEM For All Video Showcase, May 2019.