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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Reimagined and Rebranded: Science Centers for the 21st Century

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

By Eli Kuslansky and Gregory Peduto
From Dimensions
September/October 2013

Science centers: bastions of fun and exploration, destinations where children can let loose, providers of hands-on learning to spark a lifelong love of science. However, when children grow into adulthood in our technologically accelerating society, are they still called to science centers to satisfy their curiosity? In fact, many adults feel that science centers are no longer a place for them.

In a 2008 Reach Advisors study, more than 80% of respondents stated that science centers best served children and families, and only 22% said adults were best served. (Respondents could choose more than one option.) Increasingly, science centers face the challenge of how to engage adult audiences. To be relevant to these audiences and society in the 21st century, science centers must broaden their brand to appeal to adults as much as they do to children.

Making the Case

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

By Sean Smith
From Dimensions
September/October 2013

For many years, ASTC has attempted to “make the case” to local, state, and national government officials for funding competitive grant programs that can benefit science centers, museums, and their communities. While some of our traditional talking points about engaging audiences with science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), health, and environmental issues remain influential, these messages, like the field itself, have evolved in recent years. Government officials’ perception of the field, too, is evolving.

Recently, ASTC and its Public Policy Committee (which is charged with helping to set, approve, and implement our advocacy agenda) have found that U.S. legislators and congressional staffers are becoming increasingly interested in—and supportive of—some of the field’s important but lesser known capabilities. Among these, teacher professional development (offered by 82% of ASTC’s U.S. members) and curriculum materials (offered by 75% of U.S. members) have been especially well received in light of the pressing need for improved STEM education.

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