ASTC Member Profile: Durango Discovery Museum – Durango, Colorado

August 1st, 2014 - Posted in Member News by Mary Mathias

Mission: “To spark curiosity, ignite imagination, power exploration.”
 
 
The Durango Discovery Museum, or Powerhouse Science Center, opened in 2011. Located in the Durango Powerhouse building, one of the country’s first AC power plants, the Durango Discovery Museum grew out of the Children’s Museum of Durango, which purchased the Durango Powerhouse after outgrowing its original space. The museum is in the midst of a three-phase expansion and is currently fundraising for Phase III.

The Durango Discovery Museum has a wealth of programs and events that look at energy – fitting, given the museum’s location. These programs include:

  • Pub Science and Trivia Nights are adult-only evening events. Pub Science is a free, 21+, monthly lecture series paired with local craft beer.
  • Camp Discovery summer camps are week-long, themed youth summer camps, featuring topics like Cyclin’ Science, Mythbusters, and MacGyverology.
  • The Powerhouse Geek Squad travels to schools for educational assemblies.
  • The StudioLab: Art + Science Summer Collaborative invites an artist-scientist team in each summer to work on a project together at the museum.
  • Yes You Can is a three-day summer camp for elementary school teachers who want to improve their science teaching skills.

The museum also hosts afterschool programs and has a successful Science Career Ladder program, modeled after the program created by the New York Hall of Science.

The Durango Discovery Museum is open daily. Visit durangodiscovery.org for more information.

ASTC Member Profile: Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre – Port Louis, Mauritius

August 1st, 2014 - Posted in Member News by Mary Mathias

Mission: “To serve as a Centre for non-formal education and popularization of Science and Technology among the population through various media.”
 
 
The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) opened in December 2004. Working with the support of the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, RGSC aims to create awareness of science and technology, encourage creativity and innovation, especially in children, and educate about and enhance public understanding of science and technology.

RGSC celebrates and champions science in a wide variety of ways, including:

  • Science competitions like the Rodrigues Science Challenge and Science Adventure
  • Carvane de la Science, a science program that travels to schools, community centers, and other public spaces around Mauritius. Programs can include planetarium shows, interactive science demonstrations, film screenings, and more.
  • Science Fun Day, an event held in various public locations that includes demonstrations of science activities that can be done with readily available materials.
  • Science Park, an outdoor space with various science activities, such as swings to demonstrate pendulums, weights, pulleys, and inclined planes, and planet models.

The Centre also hosts Sky Observation nights, science film screenings, workshops, and lectures.

The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit rgsc.gov.mu/.

The Noyce Foundation Announces Bright Lights Community Engagement Award Winners

June 17th, 2014 - Posted in Member News by Mary Mathias

The Noyce Foundation has announced the winners of its Bright Lights Community Engagement Awards competition, which recognizes U.S. science centers, children’s museums, and natural history museums that have excelled in engaging their local communities, with a particular interest in science, technology, engineering, or math outreach. 94 applications were received from institutions across the country and, after three rounds of judging by an expert panel, seven winners were selected. All winners demonstrated their ability to reach sections of their communities that have needs not generally addressed by science centers, and to engage their communities in new and innovative ways. The winners are:

  • Explora in Albuquerque, NM
  • Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, WA
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, FL
  • Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul
  • The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA

Honorable mentions were given to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH and the University of Montana SpectrUM Discovery Center in Missoula for new and very promising programs.

All award recipients are committed to sharing their insights and experiences with other interested organizations. Videos of each will be available in a few months, and their work will be highlighted at professional meetings and other venues.

Congratulations to all award recipients!

Humphrey becomes ASTC Board Chair

October 22nd, 2013 - Posted in ASTC News, Annual Conference, Member News by Larry Hoffer

During ASTC’s Annual Business Meeting on October 21, 2013, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ASTC President R. Bryce Seidl, president and CEO, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA, passed the gavel to a new Board Chair—Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO, Arizona Science Center, Phoenix. Humphrey, who most recently served as ASTC’s secretary/treasurer, joined ASTC’s Board of Directors in 2005, and also served as vice-president from 2009-2011. (Officer titles changed from president to chair, vice-president to chair-elect, and immediate past president to immediate past chair this year as the result of bylaws changes approved by the Association’s Board of Directors in August.)

Joining Humphrey on ASTC’s Executive Committee are Chair-Elect: Linda Conlon, chief executive, International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; Secretary: Joanna Haas, executive director, Kentucky Science Center, Louisville; Treasurer: David Chesebrough, CEO, COSI, Columbus, Ohio; and Members-at-Large: Guy Labine, CEO, Science North, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada; and Alexander Zwissler, executive director and CEO, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA. (Seidl will serve as immediate past chair.)

As a result of the bylaws revisions, the maximum size of the Board of Directors was increased from 18 to 24 members. This year, seven new Board members were elected by the Association’s governing members, and one member was re-elected. The new Board members are: Kate Bennett, president, Rochester Museum & Science Center, NY; Blair Collis, president and CEO, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI; Kirsten Ellenbogen, president and CEO, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, OH; Matt Fleury, president and CEO, Connecticut Science Center, Hartford; Asger Høeg, executive director, Experimentarium, Hellerup, Denmark; Tim Ritchie, president, The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, CA; and Silvia Singer, general director and CEO, MIDE, Mexico, D.F., Mexico. Ronen Mir, director of science learning centers, Levinson Visitors Center, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, was re-elected to a second three-year term.

Those directors continuing their Board terms are: Dennis Bartels, executive director, Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA; Ann Fumarolo, president and CEO, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, Shreveport; Nohora Elizabeth Hoyos, director, Maloka, Bogota, Colombia; Tit Meng Lim, chief executive, Singapore Science Centre, Singapore; David Mosena, president and CEO, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL; Neville Petrie, CEO, Science Alive! The New Zealand Science Centre, Christchurch; Stephanie Ratcliffe, executive director, The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY; and Barry Van Deman, president and CEO, Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC.

During the Business Meeting, Seidl recognized two outgoing Board members for their service—Carol Valenta, formerly of the Saint Louis Science Center, and Nancy Stueber, president and CEO, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, who has served as immediate past president for the last two years. “The Association and our field owe a great deal of gratitude to Nancy Stueber for her service and leadership,” Seidl remarked.

For further information about Humphrey, read her interview in the September/October issue of Dimensions magazine, at www.astc.org/blog/2013/08/25/qa-with-chevy-humphrey/.

ASTC recognizes award winners

October 20th, 2013 - Posted in ASTC News, Annual Conference, Featured, Member News by Larry Hoffer

 During the first annual Leadership and Awards Luncheon (sponsored by Blackbaud) on October 19, ASTC presented its Fellow Award, the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards, and a special resolution from the Association’s Board of Directors, recognizing an individual for lifetime achievement and significant contributions to the public understanding of science.

The annual Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards (sponsored by Hands On! Inc.) were presented to two institutions and one individual. Sciencenter, Ithaca, New York, was honored in the Business Practice Category; Science Alive! The New Zealand Science Centre, Christchurch, was recognized in the Visitor Experience Category; and Asger Høeg, executive director of Experimentarium in Hellerup, Denmark, received the award for Experienced Leadership in the Field. Read more about this year’s recipients at www.astc.org/blog/2013/07/15/astc-announces-2013-roy-l-shafer-leading-edge-award-recipients/.

ASTC’s Board of Directors voted earlier this year to recognize Dr. Gunther von Hagens for lifetime achievement and significant contributions to the public understanding of science. Through the technique of Plastination, and the BODY WORLDS exhibitions, von Hagens has revealed the intricate architecture and systems of the human body and allowed us to see that our bodies are at least as beautiful under the surface as they are from outside. In the tradition of the great anatomists, he made the study of the human body accessible to the public audience, without requiring medical training. Throughout the world, millions of science center visitors have viewed these exhibitions and been inspired, curious, touched, and forever changed.

The ASTC Fellow Award, the Association’s highest honor, was presented to Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center. The text of Rudolph’s Fellow Award read:

For not only transforming the California Science Center into a premier institution, but for providing exemplary leadership to ASTC as President, developing a strategic planning process to help guide the Association’s future. During his years of service, Jeff has exemplified collaboration and displayed a good-natured collegiality and willingness to serve not just his science center, but the entire field. His impact on ASTC and STEM education has been profound.

An interview with Rudolph appears in the November/December issue of ASTC’s Dimensions magazine. Visit www.astc.org/blog/2013/10/19/qa-with-jeffrey-rudolph/ for more information.

ASTC congratulates all of these worthy award winners, and acknowledges the work of the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award Jury, as well as ASTC’s Nominating Committee, for identifying these honorees.

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