Upcoming Webinar: Sharing Resources for Engaging Diverse Audiences

September 30th, 2014 - Posted in Events, Professional Development by Mary Mathias

What resources exist to help you reach traditionally underserved and underrepresented audiences? Join us Thursday, October 9, at 3:00 p.m. ET to learn about a variety of resources developed by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) that can be applied far beyond the topic of nano. Presentations will focus on guidelines for universal design, bilingual program and exhibit development, and tips and tricks for engaging girls in STEM programming. Have a resource you’ve found particularly useful? Please come and share it with the group!

Presenters:

  • Tim Hecox, Exhibit & Program Developer, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Amanda Fisher, Curriculum Developer, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Veronika Nunez, Senior Exhibit & Program Developer, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Anna Lindgren-Streicher, Manager, Research & Evaluation, Museum of Science, Boston

Register for this webinar at www4.gotomeeting.com/register/463803967.

Date: October 9, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT
Fee: Free!

Upcoming Webinar- Back to School: Techniques and Tips for Evaluating School Group Experiences

September 8th, 2014 - Posted in Events, Professional Development by Mary Mathias

It’s that time of year when students are heading back to school and museums are getting ready for school group visits. But how do you know what students are learning and what can you say about the long-term impacts of sometimes very short experiences? In this webinar, we will explore concrete ways to evaluate school group visit experiences and get the most valuable and helpful feedback possible.

Join Jennifer Borland, a Senior Evaluator with Rockman Et Al – an evaluation firm that specializes in museum-based program evaluation – on September 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET for an hour-long, in-depth session that explores basic techniques, helpful hints, and creative ways to evaluate school group programs and visits.

This webinar is being co-hosted by the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Visitor Studies Association. The registration fee is $25 and includes access to an archived recording of the webinar, a detailed handout with a variety of tips, and a digital badge/certificate for participating in the webinar.

Webinar participants will:

  • Learn tips and tricks for developing evaluation strategies for school groups (or ways to improve existing plans)
  • Learn how to hone evaluation instruments so that they are effective tools for gathering the type of data that is most helpful to you and your institution
  • Leave with actionable steps for effective school-group evaluation that can be implemented immediately
  • Get ideas for making school-group evaluation more fun and effective
  • Get ideas for how to use technology to streamline the evaluation process
  • Establish plans for utilizing evaluation data to make programmatic improvements in the future

Register Now
Date: September 24, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT
Fee: $25

Youth Representatives Visit Capitol Hill to Advocate for Afterschool Programs

May 28th, 2014 - Posted in Events, Partners by Mary Mathias

On Thursday, May 22, 2014, youth representatives from museum programs met with Members of Congress to advocate for afterschool programs as part of the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool for All Challenge. Held as part of the Afterschool Alliance’s National Network Meeting, the Afterschool for All Challenge “[provided] unique networking and professional development opportunities that empower participants to become informed, capable afterschool advocates of all ages.” Participants were sent to Capitol Hill to advocate for the Afterschool for America’s Children Act as part of the 21st Century Learning Centers initiative (S. 326 in the Senate and HR 4086 in the House of Representatives).

The teenage representatives traveled to Washington, DC from the New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences in Camden, the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The whole gang!

The teens started with a day of advocacy training on May 21 as part of the conference. They ended the day with additional preparation over pizza at the ASTC office, which gave them an opportunity to meet the rest of the youth participants and learn about the programs at other institutions.

Pizza Party

The groups were up early the next morning for the Breakfast of Champions, which honored leading advocates and practitioners in afterschool programs. Then it was off to Capitol Hill for meetings in the offices of Members of Congress from each group’s home state. Overall, the reaction from both the teens and the staffers with whom they met was enthusiastic, and all parted in high spirits, satisfied that they had made an excellent case for afterschool programs.


Over the next few weeks, the participating ASTC programs will be posting guest entries about their experiences here on the ASTC blog, so stay tuned!

Photos by Mary Mathias 

Science Centers: Powering STEM Learning

May 15th, 2014 - Posted in Events, Partners by Mary Mathias

Exhibits, student support programs, teacher professional development, community outreach, community anchoring, public awareness, driving creativity and innovation, strong STEM learning platforms, afterschool activities — these are some of the many ways that science centers and museums are impacting their communities in today’s world.

STEMconnector and ASTC hosted the virtual town hall “Science Centers: Powering STEM Learning” on May 14. This informative online panel featured leaders of some of the most innovative science centers and museums in the United States who addressed the role of science centers in our world today. Speakers included:

» Anthony “Bud” Rock, President and CEO, ASTC
» Ron Baillie, Co-Director, Carnegie Science Center
» Matt Fleury, President and CEO, Connecticut Science Center
» David E. Chesebrough, President & CEO, COSI
» Joanna Haas, Executive Director, Kentucky Science Center
» Paul Fontaine, VP of Education, Museum of Science, Boston
» Emlyn Koster, Director, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
» Bryce Seidl, President and CEO, Pacific Science Center

Watch the town hall below to hear about the work the panelists are doing in their own museums and their thoughts on the future of the field. Download the slides from the presentation here.



Science Centers and Education Reform: Learning from the Connecticut Science Center

March 18th, 2014 - Posted in Events, Professional Development by Mary Mathias
Surveys conducted by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) report that over 80% of science centers and museums in the United States play a vital role in teacher professional development in their communities. Today’s education landscape is changing — with the widespread adoption of Common Core Standards and a growing momentum behind the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar  reform efforts around integrated STEM curriculum. How are science centers best positioned in this changing learning ecosystem? Join ASTC and the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Connecticut on April 10, 2014, for a workshop geared toward CEOs and senior staff to explore new models and practices that will help science centers in their roles as essential community partners in STEM education.
Agenda topics include:
  • An introduction to the Connecticut Science Center’s Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Academy for Teachers
  • A panel discussion with the Center’s education and corporate partners about how and why they are involved in the development of STEM programs
  • Strategies for positioning science centers as STEM education providers and partners

The workshop will be an excellent opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to build the strategies and connections necessary to strengthen and promote your educational efforts. The workshop begins with an informal group dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, and runs from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 10. A negotiated hotel rate will be available for overnight attendees.

Register by April 4 at the rate of $199 by clicking the Events tab at members.astc.org! For additional information, contact profdev@astc.org.  Hotel information and a detailed agenda will be distributed after confirmation of registration.

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