Informal science education is the process of scientific learning that takes place outside of the classrooms and academic institutions [1,2]. It is the most predominant form of learning across lifelong education, is spontaneous in nature, and has practically unlimited opportunities [1,2]. Informal learning can occur through visits to museums and galleries, participation in science festivals, and even watching educational programs . For visitors to informal science venues, robotics has been shown to be an effective tool to elicit their interest, as it often affords several elements of novelty . Further, robotics offers quick feedback for participants to test new ideas or reinforce preexisting knowledge [4,5]. Thus, a number of robotics-based exhibits, such as the exploratory rover , robotic dolphin , and remotely-controlled miniature boats , have been designed to increase visitors' interest in robotics, while delivering important topics in science, like space exploration  and environmental mapping . Biologically-inspired robotic fish have been found to be particularly engaging [7,9,10], likely due to the additional connections to the natural world they can offer . Thus, a few robotic fish exhibits have been deployed to engage and educate visitors in public aquariums and expositions [9,10]. However, such exhibits are often limited in the level of interactivity they afford, which is known to be a key factor in informal science education [12,13].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanical Engineering