Should science centers prioritize adult-oriented programs? What are the benefits and challenges of such programs?April 22nd, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the May/June 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Scitech has been running adults-only nights twice a year since 2009, the year we turned 21. We started doing these evenings as we realized that there must be an increasing number of young people who had experienced Scitech as children, but most likely hadn’t returned as they were either not yet parents, or felt that the center was just for kids, and they wouldn’t feel comfortable visiting during normal opening hours where they would be bumping shoulders with 5- to 12-year-olds. These nights have been a marked success with an average of 800 people visiting during the Saturday night opening from 6 to 10 p.m., and with regular inquiries about the date of the next event. Even though families with young children will continue to be our primary target market, we believe it’s still valuable to engage young adults at our center, as it helps foster an increasing appreciation of the value and impact of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the Western Australian community, regardless of whether these young people work in a STEM field.
Kate Elder, director of communications and marketing
Scitech, Perth, Australia