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
- SUST 200 Foundations of Sustainability and Leadership
- SCIED 455 Field Natural History for Teachers
- RPTM 430 Environmental Education Methods and Materials
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).
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).
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.
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.