In 2002, as a member of the U.S. Department of State, I attended the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. There, I led a team responsible for forming global partnerships in resource management and social welfare. Organized by the United Nations (UN) Commission on Sustainable Development, the summit was convened to build upon the landmark UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held 10 years earlier in Rio de Janeiro. (more…)
IN THIS ISSUE
This issue of ASTC Dimensions highlights how small science centers generate outsized impacts in their local communities and beyond. For the purposes of this issue, we define a small science center as one with 25,000 square feet or less of interior exhibit space, or an operating budget of U.S.$2.5 million or less. Though small centers must contend with limited space, resources, and staff, these challenges also bring benefits, including the ability to be flexible and innovative, and opportunities to connect with audiences on a personal level.
• Big Educational Impact, Small Programming Resources, by Ilene Frank
• The House of Experiments: Where the Sky Is the Limit, by Miha Kos
• A Small Science Center’s Impact on Students’ Interest in Science, by Charlie Trautmann
• Science Alive! in New Zealand and Beyond, by Neville Petrie
• Repeat Engagement for Visitors, by Emily O’Hara and Beth Krusi
• On a Human Scale: The Impacts of Size at Explora, by Armelle Casau and Betsy Adamson
• Revitalizing a Museum from the Ground Up, by Rachel Meyer
• Leading and Implementing Innovation in Small Science Centers, by Ronen Mir
• Small Gems, by Ann Fumarolo
• Small Science Centers at a Glance, by Christine Ruffo
• Making the Most of Collaborations, by Diane LaFollette, Beth Murphy, Kelly Finnerty, Sonya Darter, and Meadow Jones
Download the full issue.
By Emily O’Hara and Beth Krusi
From ASTC Dimensions
As a small, regional museum drawing from a small population, the Montshire Museum of Science in rural Norwich, Vermont, attracts a high proportion of repeat visitors. About 80 percent of visitors have been to the museum before, and we average 18 individual visits per membership household each year. Our reliance on repeat visitation challenges us to constantly evaluate and refine both new and existing exhibits in our 11,000-square-foot interior exhibit space and 110 acres of woodlands.
Several months ago, during a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, I watched a young boy gazing in fascination at the health exhibition YOU!, The Experience, even as a national initiative to stem obesity is targeting children across the United States. At the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, I observed students of markedly diverse backgrounds probing the issues of race and bias in science. (more…)
IN THIS ISSUE
The United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. Defined as the variety of life on Earth, biodiversity refers not only to the world’s diverse array of species, from animals to plants to micro-organisms, but also to the genetic variation within species, and the ecosystems where species live and interact. Whether through exhibitions, workshops, outreach programs, community partnerships, or Public Participation in Scientific Research projects, science centers can play an important role in increasing public understanding of biodiversity, its value, the threats it faces, and what can be done to help.
• Biodiversity: Time for Action, by Gérard Cobut
• The Calumet Environmental Education Program: A Model for Science Learning, by Kirk Anne Taylor
• An Oasis in the City: Tokyo’s Institute for Nature Study, by Miki Takahashi
• Variety is the Spice of Life: Biodiversity and its Conservation as a Basic Commitment, by Francisco J. Franco del Amo and Francisco Armesto Ramón
• Biodiversity in China, by Frances Leung
• Lessons from the Tree of Life, by Jane Pickering and Ellen Giusti
• Partnering for Conservation in the Solomon Islands, by Brian Weeks, Catherine Smith, and Eleanor Sterling
• Grassroots Gardening, by Jenny Fortier and Dana Murchison
• Making Big Abstract Science Accessible, by Marilyn Hoyt and Dan Wharton
• Public Participation in Scientific Research
Download the full issue.