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STEAM Certificate: Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM

Informal learning is all about deciding what, where and how we want to learn over the course of our lifetimes. It's the learning that takes place all the time, outside of the classroom, no matter how young or old you are.

The STEM Certificate: Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM provides an innovative program that immerses museum, zoo, aquarium and science outreach professionals and volunteers in informal and free-choice learning theories. You will work with some of the field’s leading researchers in museum studies programs and you will learn how to apply informal learning environment theories in real-world educational settings.

What is Informal Learning?

Learn more about the Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM Certificate from this recent interview with OSU faculty member Lynn Dierking, Ph.D., developer of the program.

Learning Outside the Classroom

You can earn the Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM Certificate by completing three required courses.  This program was originally developed by free-choice learning experts John Falk and Lynn Dierking and based on the innovative Oregon State University graduate program in education.

STEM Certificate courses:

What You'll Cover in this Series

  • Personal, socio-cultural and physical dimensions of free-choice learning and informal learning theory.
  • Learn from Oregon State University scholars leading the field of STEM/STEAM education and informal learning research.
  • Valuable professional development by enrolling in the full professional certificate program or a single course.

Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM Info Session


For more information on this certificate program, please watch the following recorded information session.

Proud Partners

This course is a collaboration between Oregon State University College of Education and Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education.

Oregon State University's Learning, Teaching and Communicating in STEAM program is proud to partner with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) specializing in Education & Interpretation.

Multiple dates
Each course takes 6-7 weeks to complete
price (2)
Full Certificate: $1,587
Individual Courses:
(registration cost includes a $60 non-refundable registration fee, per course)
Additional Information: Designed for community educators, museum professionals, interpretive guides, park rangers, curators, exhibit designers, outreach specialists and public educators more generally.


Sarah Sheldrick

Sarah Sheldrick is dedicated to inspiring creative people to develop and reach their goals. She has a strong vision of community that is considerate of equity, respect, collaboration, empathy, inclusion, celebration of achievements, and continuing development of individual’s abilities. Her area of academic and practical work is in environmental science, conflict management, documentary filmmaking and theater.  In her work, she has met with a diverse group of stakeholders including, native tribes, city manager, farmers, ranchers, city council and state representatives.

Sarah has spent her professional career focused ethical and effective skills for oral and written communication. She also has extensive and an expert knowledge of public relations, event planning and public speaking. She also brings knowledge of conflict resolution, stakeholder engagement and a creative approach to collaborative problem solving. Her current research project is looking at Nestle Waters North America and the communication process that is inclusive of local communities, awareness of environmental risk and drinking water scarcity. 

Talal Alajmi

My name is Talal. I am currently in my final year in the Science and Math PhD program at Oregon state. Prior to OSU I completed two graduate degrees: one from the University of Edinburgh in Science (Biochemistry) Communication and Public Engagement and the most recent one from the University of Oregon in Educational Leadership. My focus is exploring science education through authenticity and context and how to utilize this framework to enhance and improve students’ knowledge and interest in science. Since enrolling at OSU in 2018, I have been working with an array of students from different backgrounds, and as an educator I believe each learner is unique and deserves an engaging and collaborative environment to grow intellectually and socially. 


Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.