The Beta Lab at UC Davis studies how young people learn and
develop through participation in making and the Maker Movement.
We investigate the nature of learning that occurs during
extended, youth-driven maker projects, and we design learning
environments and tools to support learning through making.
The Integrating Literacies Project explores the nature of work
and communication in the lives of Latinx youth. Our aim is to
generate knowledge about young people’s work-related
communication skills and strengths, and the conditions that
encourage their development. The project’s practical goal is
to inform programs and policies that shape the career
opportunities and trajectories of Latinx youth.
Our research focuses on the language and literacy development of
young children, particularly dual language learners. We have
several ongoing projects. The lab is supported by grants from the
National Institute of Health, Foundation for Child
Development, Language Learning, and Yolo Community Foundation.
With Youth-focused Citizen and Community Science (YCCS), youth
contribute to authentic science. They can do this through data
collection, but also interpreting or sharing findings. But what
does this mean for science learning? To answer this question, we
began conducting case studies with YCCS projects in Northern
California and bringing together key stakeholders to explore when
and how YCCS works best.