Lived Science Narratives

Lived Science Narratives


Lived Science Narratives is an NSF-funded project that investigates how to contextualize the learning of elementary science topics with children’s everyday experiences through the use of wearables, specifically the smartwatch. Requirements of universal education have necessarily led to the modern model of instruction straying away from the traditional apprenticeship paradigm whereby learning occurred in-situ. Within the bounded setting of the classroom, educators attempt every day to make up for this loss of context in instruction by using various strategies, such as drawing from their own life experiences to provide real-life scenario examples in their teaching, asking students to bring in stimulus materials from home, or organizing field trips. We tap into the new wave of wearables, specifically the smartwatch, to design technologies that can help to contextualize the learning of elementary school science topics in a lived curriculum.







  • We have investigated the potential smartwatches have for capturing reflections of everyday life events related to science topics and the types of stories that children can capture, findings can be found in our 2017 publication at the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI).
  • We have investigated the design of different motivational structures (gamified, narrative and a hybrid of the two) to help support science learning and reflection through the use of a smartwatch app called ScienceStories. For this investigation we collaborated with a local fifth-grade science class at an elementary school in Bryan, TX. Findings from this study can be found in our publication at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).
  • Currently we are investigating the differences between in-situ science reflections in everyday life done with a smartwatch and the ScienceStories app and science reflections done in the classroom. We are also interested in understanding the effects these types of recordings have on perceived relevance. For this study we are working with a local seventh-grade middle school classroom located in Gainesville, Florida.


Project Team Members


  • Brittany Garcia (Ph.D. Student, University of Florida)
  • Beth Nam (Ph.D. Student, University of Florida)

Related Publications

  1. Chu, S. L. and Garcia, B. Toward Wearable App Design for Children’s In-the-World Science Inquiry. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’17). Yokohama, Japan. ACM. 
  2. Chu, S. L., Garcia, B., & Nam, B. (2018). Toward the Design of Scaffolds for In-the-World Situated Science Reflections through Wearables. International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.[ISLS].
  3. Chu, S., Garcia, B., & Nam, B. (2018). The Smartwatch as a Situated Reflection Tool for Everyday Science. In American Educational Research Association.
  4. Garcia, B., Chu, S. L., Nam, B., & Banigan, C. (2018, April). Wearables for Learning: Examining the Smartwatch as a Tool for Situated Science Reflection. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (p. 256). ACM.