Let’s Give Parents Some Credit . . . and Support!

August 25th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

The famous U.S. writer, Mark Twain, reportedly once stated, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

This humorous, but poignant, quote came to mind as I recently reviewed a study commissioned by the Microsoft Corporation in which the data indicate that parents and caregivers exert tremendous influence on the decisions of young people about their future career choices. According to the study, parents are twice as likely as teachers or counselors (and four times as likely as peers) to influence boys about career direction. These numbers, and the significance of parents’ role in the decision-making process, are even higher for girls.

What “Sustains” Us

July 31st, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

Science centers and museums the world over are successful through the combined efforts of capable staff, dedicated board members, committed volunteers, supportive community leaders, and a widely diverse collection of suppliers whose products and services help us bring exciting and educational programming to our visitors. ASTC refers to these suppliers—including individuals, corporations, and public agencies—as our “sustaining members.” Together, they support nearly every aspect of our operations, and they are often the source of the most innovative and forward-thinking concepts employed within our institutions.

Meeting All the Standards

April 22nd, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

Even the most dedicated supporter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning today would not be faulted for some level of confusion over the many educational standards for science that seem to be in various stages of development or review. There is considerable discussion lately, for example, about the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), not to be confused with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects.

“The Company We Keep”: Help Us Gather the Stories of Their Museum Experiences

March 18th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

The ASTC office in Washington, D.C., is only a few Metro stops away from the National Library of Congress, which houses among its treasures a compilation of oral and written testimonials from those who have witnessed history. Testimonials personalize events; they bind the presenters and listeners through common thoughts and feelings. Stories are much richer through first-hand telling.

In thinking about these historical testimonials, it occurs to me that so many fascinating individuals have passed through the doors of our science centers and museums and experienced so much. If we are judged by the company we keep, then we are no doubt judged favorably for the company of so many curious and inspired folks who have chosen to spend their precious time with us.

We Have Our Roots in Water

January 30th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

It has been a few years since ASTC’s award-winning magazine, Dimensions, last devoted an issue to a single science-based theme, like water. But, we were drawn to this topic for our January/February 2013 issue as we learned more about the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, and the UN’s decision to call upon its scientific and educational arm, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to lead the effort “because of the organization’s unique multidisciplinary approach which blends the natural and social sciences, education, culture, and communications.”

This blend that defines UNESCO is mirrored in the work of science centers and museums all around the world. Recognizing this, ASTC has formed a strong partnership with UNESCO during the past two years that has, in turn, given greater visibility to a wealth of activities within our field to help raise local awareness about sustainable development, youth empowerment, greater access for women to careers in science, and many more topics that are precisely the issues defined as UN global priorities.


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