Connecting with the Community: Science Centers and Their Core Audiences

January 30th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Dimensions by Christine Ruffo

IN THIS ISSUE
January/February 2009

Science centers serve a variety of core audiences, from visitors to volunteers to Internet users. But who are these audiences and what kinds of experiences are they looking for? A recent Reach Advisors–ASTC survey identified mothers of young children as one of the largest science center audiences, and men over 60 as one of the most committed. In this issue, we take a look at these and other core users and examine ways to keep them happy and engaged.

Contents
Moms, Museums, and Motivations: Cultivating an Audience of Museum Advocates, by Susie Wilkening
• Science for Mums, by Sue Stocklmayer
• Men over 60, by Susie Wilkening
• Where Everybody Knows Your Name, by Bob Silberman
• Attracting Core Audiences Through a Local Focus, by Lori Geller
• Visitors by Any Other Name…, by Laura Farra Myers and Bart A. Roselli
• WeTube: Getting Physical with a Virtual Community at the Ontario Science Centre, by Kevin von Appen

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Moms, Museums, and Motivations: Cultivating an Audience of Museum Advocates

January 30th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Dimensions by Christine Ruffo

By Susie Wilkening
From ASTC Dimensions
January/February 2009


Go to any science museum on a Saturday morning, and a sight awaits you. Children, in particular, are exploring science while having a great time. But what is going on in the heads of the adults, especially the parents, at the science museum? Are they equally engaged, or do they feel that more could be done to captivate their interests and their intellect?

This year, working with ASTC, Reach Advisors, a marketing strategy and research firm based in Slingerlands, New York, set out to explore the motivations and engagement levels of visitors to science museums. When we examined the data, however, we were particularly surprised by the thoughts and expectations of mothers who visit with their children.
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