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21st Century Learning in Natural History Museums

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceIn Feburary 2012, the National Science Foundation funded a conference in Washington, D.C. about how to increase the relevancy of natural history museums in the 21st century. On October 18 during a full-day workshop at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, ASTC 2013 attendees continued the conversation about natural history museums’ roles, and the development of a learning research agenda to inform this process.

Workshop leaders presented the Call to Action (“Declaration of Interdependence“) and Learning Research Agenda that are being developed through the 21st Century Learning in Natural History Settings Wiki. Case studies were also presented, and participants had opportunities to observe staff engaging visitors in activities on the museum floor. Participants discussed how they can best collaborate to achieved shared goals including being places where the complex challenges of the future are met in an open, honest, inclusive, and rational way and being welcoming to all people, not just their traditional constituents.

Photo by Christine Ruffo