Research at Science World

Science World is proud to give our visitors the opportunity to participate in real-life research and connect with local scientists.

In addition to partnering with UBC researchers from the Department of Psychology in our Living Lab, Science World occasionally hosts other visiting researchers who carry out research studies onsite.

If you are interested in conducting a research project at Science World, please review our guidelines and fill out the form below.

Guidelines for Visitor Testing

Mission-aligned onsite research is a win/win situation. Visitors benefit from learning about and interacting with local scientists and innovators. External researchers benefit from being able to test their product or theory with a large and diverse population in one convenient location. Science World thus benefits from supporting a thriving local knowledge economy, building strong relationships with community partners, and providing visitors with a novel learning experience. We see great value in breaking down barriers between scientists, innovators, and the public. Showcasing the interesting questions being addressed in local universities, colleges, technology companies, and other non-profits is consistent with Science World values, especially curious, relevant, and collaborative.

Visitor testing at Science World must be conducted with respect for human dignity and adhere to ethical standards. The following guidelines apply to all visitor testing at Science World.

  1. The number one priority of researchers / data collectors is visitor experience, even when it interferes with data collection:
    • Data collection should be able to be paused to address visitor questions or concerns.
    • Research activities should not be disruptive or upsetting to children, parents, staff/volunteers, or other non-participant visitors at Science World.
    • Parents/caregivers should be able to observe the entire interaction between children and researchers.
  2. All interested visitors have the right to participate in the activity, even if they are not eligible for the study.
  3. Participation is voluntary, and consent to participate can be withdrawn at any time.
  4. Data collectors should be prepared to explain who they are, what they are doing, why, and the science behind it to any visitor who wants to hear more.
  5. Data collectors should identify themselves as researchers, with their affiliation clearly visible, using badges and/or signage (Science World can provide research signage).
  6. The activity should be brief – if more than five minutes, a thank-you gift should be considered.
  7. Data collectors should have fun! Our visitors come to learn and be entertained. Enthusiasm is contagious and is a cornerstone of informal science education.

These guidelines are necessary but not sufficient criteria for conducting visitor testing at Science World. Even if these guidelines are adhered to, requests to test visitors may be denied for a number of other reasons, such as logistical concerns or a lack of mission alignment. Access to visitor testing at Science World will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions about visitor testing, please contact research@scienceworld.ca.

Research