Yip, J., Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Lewittes, C., Guha, M., Druin, A., Gelderblom, H. (November 2011)
Students often find science to be disconnected from their everyday lives. One reason for this disengagement is that learners are often not given the chance to choose how to pursue their personal goals using science reasoning. Therefore, we are creating science programs that emphasize life-relevant learning - the ability to engage science learners in the context of achieving their own goals. We developed Kitchen Chemistry to engage and support children in the design of their own personal investigations. In this paper, we use a case study analysis to examine three groups of learners in Kitchen Chemistry. We analyze the decisions that learners make, how learners make these decisions, and the supports needed to make informed choices. We examine how the use of semi-structured activities, whole group discussions, adult facilitation, and mobile technologies interact and support learners in their decision-making practices.