Carnegie Mellon University

Lauren Yan

Lauren YanMajor: Cognitive Science
Adviser: Sharon Carver

Facilitating Memory Through Games in Children Aged Three to Five

The objective of my project is to explore whether independent learning or guided learning better helps to facilitate memory skills in preschool-aged children. The methods will involve having the children play a memory game and to observe whether their performance on the game improves in different conditions, with or without prompting. I intend to conduct the experiment at CMU’s Children’s School using a computer program. I might also conduct the experiment at a preschool in South Korea.

If the cross-cultural aspect of the project is successful, I will use the results to further develop hypotheses as to how culture affects the way children learn and develop. The project combines two of my major interests, children and foreign cultures, which is why I find it exciting and interesting.

I hypothesize that there will not be a significant difference in the patterns between American children and Korean children, and that there will be a larger improvement in memory in the “with prompting” condition. This project will contribute to studies about learning styles and teaching strategies for children, and focus those strategies on improving their performance on the game.


I was born in December 1995, about a month before a major snowstorm during which my mom had a very real fear of losing me in several feet of snow. I grew up in the tight-knit little community of Glassboro, New Jersey, where I developed dear friendships that are still important to me.

I learned to love traveling very early. Before I turned one, I went to Hong Kong, where my parents were born. I’ve also traveled to various European cities. I have visited Disney World many times, and rediscover the child in me every time.

A fortune cookie I read once said, “A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child,” and I take that to heart. I collect hedgehog-themed stuffed animals and stickers and choose animated films over horror movies and romantic comedies every time.

I also enjoy being creative with cooking. My latest mission is to fry a perfect egg, with just the right balance between crispy edges and a slow, runny yolk. I like throwing together leftovers to create something better than the original. And I love to eat the head of a fresh steamed fish, inviting stares in restaurants!

Early on, I established myself as a “music kid.” My first love was the piano, my platonic love is the viola and my most recent interest is the cello.

My love for music hasn’t wavered. Ever since I could talk, I was singing in languages I didn’t even understand, belting out old Chinese folk and traditional songs. I simply like the feeling that music gives me: If a song makes me stop and listen, I like it. If I smile when I listen to it, I love it. If I get goose bumps every time I hear it, it’s a favorite for life!