Enlightening Our Practice: Advancing the Field Through Research

November 26th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

November/December 2013

While Dimensions has published new studies and research-based articles in the past, this is the first time an issue has focused entirely on research related to the science center and museum field. Research is critical to science center and museum professionals—it expands our perspectives and understanding, grounds our work in a broader context, and provides solid data on which to base our programs, policies, and advocacy efforts. In this issue, we highlight a few recent, relevant, and broadly applicable studies that illuminate topics important to moving the field forward. We hope the research in this issue will help individual practitioners and institutions achieve greater impact and will also advance the field as a whole.

• Science Centers and Research: An Overview, by Charlie Trautmann, Kim Cavendish, Gillian Thomas, Julie I. Johnson, Damien Francaviglia, and Christine Ruffo
• Science Centers Make a Difference: Results from the International Science Center Impact Study, by John H. Falk, Lynn D. Dierking, Mark D. Needham, and Lisa Prendergast
• Measuring and Evaluating Science Learning Activation, by Debra W. Moore, Meghan E. Bathgate, Joo Chung, and Matthew A. Cannady
Today’s Destination Visitors, by Diane Lochner and Tom Owen
• Learning at and for Work, by Julie I. Johnson
• More Recent Research You Should Know About, compiled by Christine Ruffo
• Dig Deeper at InformalScience.org, by Trevor Nesbit and Kalie Sacco

(A companion blog post to this issue of Dimensions is available here.)

Online Departments
From the CEO
Q&A with Jeffrey Rudolph

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Today’s Destination Visitors

November 25th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

By Diane Lochner and Tom Owen
From Dimensions
November/December 2013

Now that the United States has passed through the crucible of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, destination visitors, both locals and those traveling, are back. And they are wiser, seek greater value, and are more sensitive to “pain points” (see graph) than ever before.

In May 2013, PGAV Destinations, a destination design and consulting firm in St. Louis, Missouri, and H2R Market Research published a study of destination visitors across the United States. The study evaluated the shifting priorities of today’s visitors and how their needs and wants drive their behavior.

A Fresh New Look

November 25th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Emily Schuster

The entire ASTC staff is tremendously excited about the fresh, new, and inspirational look to ASTC these days. We hope readers ASTC’s print and online materials have noticed that the ASTC logo has taken on a new “flare,” literally! You could say the Association is “ablaze” with new programs and services, and our new logo exemplifies that ASTC energy. We encourage all of our ASTC-member science centers and museums to feature the new ASTC logo prominently in their buildings and on their websites. To update the ASTC logo in your institution, please contact us.

Q&A with Jeffrey Rudolph

October 19th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, Q&A by Emily Schuster

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson

This interview appeared in the November/December 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.

Thirty-one years ago, Jeffrey Rudolph entered the science center and museum field “more or less by mistake.” Chance events led Rudolph, now president and CEO of the California Science Center (CSC) in Los Angeles and president of the California Science Center Foundation, to a storied career. That, in turn, earned him the ASTC Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution, the Association’s highest honor, this year. Here, Rudolph reveals his favorite memories and his hopes for the future of the field.

Read the full transcript, or listen to the podcast.

Shaping Perceptions of Science Centers

September 15th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions by Alejandro Asin

September/October 2013

When people look at science centers, what do they see? How can science centers shape those perceptions in a positive direction? In this issue of Dimensions, we examine how important audiences and stakeholders—including government officials, people from minority backgrounds, teachers, donors, and general adult audiences—perceive science centers. In addition, this issue highlights specific strategies science centers can use to influence how their audiences see them—from branding campaigns to responsive websites to public relations techniques. Throughout the magazine, you’ll find practical advice, best practices, and inspirational ideas for how to best represent your institution. By understanding their audiences and meeting their needs, engaging with current issues and technologies, and communicating effectively, science centers can be perceived as relevant, welcoming, innovative places that are of great value to their communities.

• A Brand New Image, by Joelle Seligson
Reimagined and Rebranded: Science Centers for the 21st Century, by Eli Kuslansky and Gregory Peduto
Making the Case, by Sean Smith
• Highlighting the Importance of Science Centers to Local and National Leaders, by Alexander Zwissler
• Science Centers and Cultural Diplomacy: An Australia-Vietnam Case Study, by Graham Durant
• Interculturalism: A New Way of Understanding Audience Engagement, by Salvador Acevedo
Field Trips: What Teachers Told Us, by Mary Ann Wojton
Best Practices in Public Relations
• Increasing Philanthropic Support, by Erik Pihl
• Why Your Organization Should Consider a Responsive Website, by Jason Bosher

Online Departments
From the CEO
Q&A with Chevy Humphrey

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