Jackie Barnes has worked in the fields of Learning Sciences and educational games for over 8 years, and is now working as the Senior Research Scientist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP). Previously, she’s worked on the design, implementation, and analysis of educational game interactions, as well as how to help teachers support those interactions. Her dissertation examined the diversity of user experiences in an educational game, and in part, examined how a game is perceived as “school” or “game” in the context of being used in a classroom. Jackie’s current work at CMP spans many projects, including researching how to identify, scaffold, and design for “kindness practices”, collaborating with in-house early education classrooms, and working on collaborations with a local (middle grades) charter school in preparation for the Museum Lab project.

Jackie’s especially interested in supporting good mental health practices in kids, exploring how components of game design can be translated to younger (age 8 and below) audiences, understanding how perceptions of an activity (as “academic” or “playful”) influence interactions and learning, and lastly, anything that includes play and whimsy.

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