Dr. Martin Storksdieck, Dr. Shawn Rowe and Kimberley Preston are partnering with Dr. James Kisiel at California State University Long Beach and Jill Stein from JKS Consulting to conduct a critical research synthesis on the significance of authenticity or realness for learning in informal science education settings. The project seeks to better understand how different disciplines (e.g. learning sciences, media studies, museology, linguistics, anthropology, etc.) address authenticity and to compile existing evidence of why “the real” thing or experience may (or may not) be important for supporting informal science learning. The resulting products of this project will include a peer-reviewed research synthesis of the theoretical perspectives and empirical findings, and a handbook-style guide for practitioners; the latter will inform informal science education practice in exhibit and program design and in the delivery of informal science experiences.