Lights On Afterschool Partnership Minigrant

July 29th, 2014 - Posted in ASTC News, Partners by Mary Mathias

ASTC and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the Lights On Afterschool Partnership Minigrant. This Noyce Foundation-funded program stems from the partnership formed between ASTC and the Afterschool Alliance as our Commitment to Action for the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual drive to find innovative solutions to promote economic recovery in the United States, including objectives in education and skill development. This minigrant program is designed to strengthen STEM learning partnerships between ASTC-member science centers in the United States and afterschool providers.

The 15th annual Lights On Afterschool celebration will be on October 23, 2014, with events taking place throughout October. Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. Science centers are ideally placed to hold events as a part of Lights On Afterschool, and these grants will be used to support such events.

Eligibility requirements for the minigrant include:

  • Current membership in ASTC.
  • Science centers and museums must be based in the United States.
  • The identified afterschool partner must be a part of a larger afterschool program with multiple sites or be the statewide afterschool network.
  • Both partners should share an interest in developing or increasing their capacity for STEM programming for youth in out-of-school time programs.
  • Submission of a complete application that includes some basic demographic data about each partner organization, a narrative description of the proposed activity, an event date, and details about how the event will be promoted in the community.

For more information about the Lights On Afterschool Partnership Minigrants, check out the Request for Applications and the FAQ. The application deadline is 11:00 p.m. ET on Friday, August 22, 2014. Minigrant recipients will be announced in September 2014.

ASTC Announces 2014 Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows

July 2nd, 2014 - Posted in Professional Development by Mary Mathias

ASTC is pleased to announce the 2014 ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows. The Fellows are museum professionals from underrepresented groups, and will attend the 2014 ASTC Annual Conference to gain professional development experiences, a broader peer network, and the opportunity to acquire and hone their leadership skills. Ten new and five alumni fellows were selected. They are:

New Fellows

  • Sherrie Belton – EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Meghan Durieux – TELUS Spark, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Eric Godoy – Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO
  • Nicole Kawamoto – Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Christina Martinez – Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • Akiko Minaga – Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
  • Chris Navarro – San Antonio Children’s Museum, San Antonio, TX
  • Adam Patterson – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR
  • Brisa Rivas – California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lene Rosenmeier – Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada

Alumni Fellows

  • Juanita Juarez – California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Kristofer Kelly-Frere – TELUS Spark, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Brittani Lane – EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Stacey Lee – Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY
  • Amanda Paige – University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, MI

For more information about the ASTC Diversity & Leadership Development Fellows Program, please visit www.astc.org/about/awards/conference_fellow.htm.

Q&A with Ari Daniel: Telling Science Stories on the Airwaves

June 26th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, Q&A by Emily Schuster

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson

This interview appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Dimensions magazine.

Strange noises in a Connecticut backyard, love affairs between tiny copepods, and chemicals that exist in the clouds between stars: These are a few of the subjects that Ari Daniel has turned into fascinating science stories. Daniel has united his lifelong passions for science and storytelling through his work as a freelance radio journalist (you may have heard him on (U.S.) National Public Radio) and digital associate producer at NOVA. He also hosts the Boston chapter of the Story Collider, in which other narrators take the stage to relay their science-related tales. Here, Daniel reveals how—and why—to find and share great scientific anecdotes with the public.

Read the full transcript, or listen to the podcast below.


The Noyce Foundation Announces Bright Lights Community Engagement Award Winners

June 17th, 2014 - Posted in Member News by Mary Mathias

The Noyce Foundation has announced the winners of its Bright Lights Community Engagement Awards competition, which recognizes U.S. science centers, children’s museums, and natural history museums that have excelled in engaging their local communities, with a particular interest in science, technology, engineering, or math outreach. 94 applications were received from institutions across the country and, after three rounds of judging by an expert panel, seven winners were selected. All winners demonstrated their ability to reach sections of their communities that have needs not generally addressed by science centers, and to engage their communities in new and innovative ways. The winners are:

  • Explora in Albuquerque, NM
  • Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, WA
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, FL
  • Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul
  • The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA

Honorable mentions were given to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH and the University of Montana SpectrUM Discovery Center in Missoula for new and very promising programs.

All award recipients are committed to sharing their insights and experiences with other interested organizations. Videos of each will be available in a few months, and their work will be highlighted at professional meetings and other venues.

Congratulations to all award recipients!

Science Within Reach: Engaging the Public in Scientific Research

May 30th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions by Alejandro Asin

IN THIS ISSUE
May/June 2014

What happens when the public is given the opportunity to engage meaningfully in authentic scientific research? Participants may develop a sense of ownership and a deeper understanding of science, and scientists gain access to valuable resources and fresh perspectives. As sites for community engagement, education, and sometimes scientific research itself, science centers, museums, and related institutions are ideally positioned to connect the public with authentic research.

In this issue of Dimensions, we examine three ways our field is doing this work. A major part of the issue is devoted to citizen science, where volunteers partner with scientists to investigate real scientific questions. We define citizen science broadly here to include many different models of public participation in scientific research, whether laypeople are collecting or analyzing data, interpreting results, or determining research questions. In addition, this issue looks at research labs housed in museums, and programs that connect youth to scientists as mentors.

Features
• Everyone a Scientist? Opening Scientific Research to a Broader Public, by Martin Storksdieck
• Six Practices for Engaging Underrepresented Communities as Citizen Science Partners, by Norman Porticella, Flisa Stevenson, and Jennifer Shirk
Bridging the Gaps: Integrating Citizen Science Throughout an Institution, by Christine L. Goforth, Julie M. Urban, and Julie E. Horvath
• Select Resources to Support and Inspire Citizen Science, compiled by Christine L. Goforth and Jennifer Shirk
Powered by the People: A Citizen Science Sampler
• Testing the Waters: Students in India Monitor Arsenic Levels, by Niranjan Gupta, Nikhiles Biswas, Naba Kumar Mondal, G.S. Rautela, Emdadul Islam, and Marilyn Hoyt
• Teen Scientists: Youth Doing Rigorous, Authentic Research at Museums, by Preeti Gupta and Oscar Pineda
• Native Science Fellows: Supporting Native American Students in Geoscience Research, by Helen Augare, Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Shelly Valdez, and Melissa Weatherwax
• There’s a New Lab in Town, by Sara Poirier

Online Departments
From the CEO: The “team sport” of science center learning
Viewpoints: Are making and tinkering spaces just a fad, or are they here to stay?
Q&A: Sean Carroll on science and the silver screen

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