Working with scientists and engineers

September 19th, 2007 - Posted in ASTC Connect, Partners by Wendy Pollock

Ongoing engagements with research scientists, mathematicians, and engineers help assure that the content of science centers remains strong and current. Starting September 24, we’ll be hosting an ongoing series of discussions and problem-solving sessions within a new ASTC Connect forum to help support those working to foster and strengthen these relationships.

The first, week-long discussion kicks off with a focus on exhibitions, hosted by Sheila Grinell, author of A Place for Learning Science and most recently CEO of the Arizona Science Center. Staff of ASTC-member institutions and their collaborators (in particular, their science advisors and partners) are invited to join.

The discussion takes off from the current issue of ASTC Dimensions, “The Engaged Scientist: Fostering Successful Museum-Researcher Collaborations” and Sheila Grinell’s article “In the Comfort Zone: Working with Scientists on Exhibitions.”

To sign up, go to ASTC Connect and set up an account. Then contact Margaret Glass at mglass[at] for access to the forum.

New Models Forum: building repeat attendance

September 11th, 2007 - Posted in ASTC Connect by Wendy Pollock

Interested in strategies for building repeat visitation? During the week of September 17, David Chesebrough, President & CEO of COSI Columbus, will be hosting a conversation and idea-sharing session in the ASTC Connect New Models Forum. ASTC members are invited to join.

For many years, attendance has been seen as an indicator of the success of museums. Increasingly, museums are looking for alternatives to this focus on the “gate” and exploring ways to deepen their relationships with current visitors. Strategies for building these relationships are the focus of this discussion, which will be continued during an October 14 session at the ASTC Annual Conference, Los Angeles.

To sign up for the New Models Forum, staff of ASTC-member institutions should have an ASTC Connect account and contact connect[at] for an enrollment key.

Climate action: join the conversation

August 4th, 2007 - Posted in ASTC Connect by Wendy Pollock

Science centers and museums worldwide are invited to join a discussion Forum on ASTC Connect, August 6-10, in preparation for the October 4 National Conversation on Climate Action. Led by Andrea Bandelli, project manager for the European project Decide, the forum will give participants an opportunity to try out a global warming “game” designed to foster and support public discussions about climate policy. To sign up, contact If you can’t participate actively this week, you’re still welcome to join the forum.

Personalizing the science center experience

July 17th, 2007 - Posted in ASTC Connect by Admin

Discussion starts Monday, July 23, in ASTC Connect’s New Science Center Models Forum about how science centers can respond to new possibilities for customizing user experiences. As moderator Beverly Sheppard notes, many science centers are moving from an “attraction model” to an “engagement model.” Participants will share experiences and reflections about personal customization and user-generated content. Beverly Sheppard is president of the Institute for Learning Innovation, Annapolis, Maryland, and former acting director and deputy director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a U.S. federal agency.

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