Ruff Family Science
2017 to 2019

WGBH and EDC's Center for Children and Technology (EDC|CCT) are partnering on Ruff Family Science, a research and development project that aims to foster joint media engagement and hands-on science exploration among parents and their children.

Building on the success of the PBS series Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, the project aims to leverage Fetch’s animated host, along with its proven approach to teaching science, to inspire families to explore science together. More specifically, the project will undertake a research and design process to create resources (digital media, hands-on science activities, and supports for educators) that meet the needs of families with a parent enrolled in an adult education program, addressing parents as both adult learners and as caregivers who can nurture their children’s development in science.

All educational resources will be developed with the goal of designing an effective and accessible toolkit for national dissemination. Through this process, our goal is to build broader knowledge about how to design educational resources that support joint media engagement and hands-on science exploration among parents and children—while at the same time ensuring broad use among all families.

EDC|CCT and WGBH will utilize an iterative research and design process to create media and joint engagement activities while investigating how learning can be enriched and deepened in a variety of learning environments. Following the creation of these resources, an exploratory pilot study will be conducted to capture evidence of the promise of these resources when implemented in adult and family education settings.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments.



Heather Lavigne (PI)
Marion Goldstein
Jaime Gutierrez
Alexia Raynal
Cruz Vargas-Sullivan