The Communities (in which) We Serve

September 1st, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

Delving into the subject of community engagement, I stumbled upon an instructive approach proposed in 2011 by the (U.S.) National Institutes of Health (NIH). In the context of community-based health policy, NIH suggested that community engagement may be defined in two ways: first, relating to the target community in need of health care services, and second, referring to the wider community in which health care facilities must operate and coordinate to be effective.

In both of these definitions of community engagement there are close parallels to the work of our science centers and museums. Our missions are frequently defined by the target communities that we strive to impact—youth, lifelong learners, students, educators, underserved communities, the highly motivated, and more. At the same time, we know that our successes depend upon our ability to reflect the wider communities in which we exist and to collaborate effectively with people who share geographic proximity but are often diverse in culture, economics, skills, and interests.
(more…)

Science Museums Evolve: Are We Preparing?

July 31st, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

Position descriptions posted on ASTC’s job bank offer glimpses into the most valued qualifications for professionals in our science center and museum community. The needs of our member institutions are constantly evolving in response to increasingly diverse audiences, more challenging science topics, and new research on learning strategies. To succeed, we depend upon professionals who have the skills to respond to these changes.
(more…)

The “Team Sport” of Science Center Learning

April 25th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

Watching young visitors move among the exhibits in science centers and museums, I am often reminded of how my children first learned to play soccer (or football in most of the world). We called it “pack ball” because of the way the entire team tended to follow the ball in unison. Groups of young people often navigate through our science centers in much the same collective fashion. This is not surprising, but it creates a challenging knowledge acquisition environment that must accommodate both individualized experiences and the dynamics of small group learning.
(more…)

"My Job Is Science"

April 17th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

I have been fascinated for some time with the issue of science in the everyday workforce. My goal is for our science centers and museums to give nearly every parent or caregiver the opportunity to describe his or her profession to a child in distinctly “scientific terms,” even if this is less obvious on its face. This might take the form of a program or exhibition entitled “My Job Is Science,” where careers of all types are described in terms of their connections to science: “I am a hospital technician, plumber, restaurant employee, auto mechanic, law enforcement or fire and rescue officer, teacher, farmer—and my job is about science.”
(more…)

The Beauty in the Telling

January 5th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

My father was a businessman who was required, on occasion, to visit the manufacturing headquarters for the products that he sold. As a child, I sometimes tagged along. One trip always stands out in my mind. We made a visit to Corning, New York, to the site of what is now the well-known Corning Museum of Glass.

Most striking to me about this visit was the presentation of not only the remarkable, centuries-old artwork in glass, but also the exceptional effort made by the museum to demonstrate the craft of glassmaking. The exhibits were carefully constructed to amaze and to educate about the processes, techniques, and, yes, the science of glassmaking.
(more…)

© Association of Science - Technology Centers Incorporated