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

ASTC Announces 2014 Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows

July 2nd, 2014 - Posted in Professional Development by Mary Mathias

ASTC is pleased to announce the 2014 ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows. The Fellows are museum professionals from underrepresented groups, and will attend the 2014 ASTC Annual Conference to gain professional development experiences, a broader peer network, and the opportunity to acquire and hone their leadership skills. Ten new and five alumni fellows were selected. They are:

New Fellows

  • Sherrie Belton – EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Meghan Durieux – TELUS Spark, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Eric Godoy – Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO
  • Nicole Kawamoto – Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Christina Martinez – Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • Akiko Minaga – Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
  • Chris Navarro – San Antonio Children’s Museum, San Antonio, TX
  • Adam Patterson – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR
  • Brisa Rivas – California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lene Rosenmeier – Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada

Alumni Fellows

  • Juanita Juarez – California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Kristofer Kelly-Frere – TELUS Spark, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Brittani Lane – EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Stacey Lee – Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY
  • Amanda Paige – University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, MI

For more information about the ASTC Diversity & Leadership Development Fellows Program, please visit www.astc.org/about/awards/conference_fellow.htm.

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.

Afterschool Programs and Science Centers Partnering To Serve Youth

August 12th, 2013 - Posted in Partners, Professional Development, Resources by Mary Mathias

ASTC recently partnered with the Afterschool Alliance to explore and promote STEM in afterschool programming. On August 8, 2013, we presented a webinar on how afterschool programs and science centers can work together. You can view the webinar in its entirety here:

Afterschool Programs and Science Centers Partnering to Serve Youth from ASTC Professional Development on Vimeo.

Are you interested in afterschool programs, but unsure how to connect with programs in your community? The first step is to contact your state afterschool network. Websites of the state afterschool networks may have information on local programs, funding opportunities, and other resources. Some networks are actively engaged in elevating the levels of science their state through the collaborative effort, Project Liftoff. You can also contact the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Ambassadors, who are experienced practitioners and advocates of afterschool. Ambassadors in your state are listed among the “Afterschool Champions” on the Afterschool in Your State webpage.

Don’t see an afterschool network in your state? If you are located in Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, or Tennessee, there is not currently a C.S. Mott-funded statewide afterschool network. Alaska will soon have a network. For all of the above states, check the Afterschool in Your State webpage. Listed at the bottom is a state-level contact that will be knowledgeable about afterschool in your state. There may also be Afterschool Ambassadors who can help you connect to the afterschool field and find local programs (listed in the “Afterschool Champions” section).

Here are some additional resources, courtesy of the Afterschool Alliance:


The report,
Defining Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning Afterschool, concludes a 10-month study that asked experienced afterschool providers and supporters to identify appropriate and feasible outcomes. Study participants identified a consensus on outcomes, indicators and sub-indicators that provide a framework to map how afterschool programs contribute to larger STEM education goals. Find more Afterschool Alliance publications as well as research on STEM and afterschool on their Publications page.




Lights On Afterschool
October 17, 2013

Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort generates strong partner visibility and has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement. Last year, a record of 10,000 events brought together more than one million Americans.

Lights On Afterschool events, like afterschool programs themselves, come in all shapes and sizes. From an open house to a rally of thousands, from a community parade to a week-long celebration across the state, Lights On Afterschool brings kids, families and communities together in support of afterschool programs.

Interested in Making?

As part of the Summer of Making and Connecting, the Afterschool Alliance is facilitating a three-part webinar series for formal and informal education leaders interested in leveraging the power of making to expand access to educational opportunities that engage, excite and inspire youth. The concluding webinar in the series will focus on strategies for increasing the quantity and quality of maker programs at the city and state level. The previous two webinars are available on the archives page.


Build, Create and Innovate: Expanding Access to Maker Programs
Thursday, Aug 29, 2013
12:00 PM EDT
Register here

Guest speakers from the California Department of Education, the Idaho Commission for Libraries and the New York Hall of Science will discuss some of the efforts currently under way to create a learning revolution in rural and urban communities across the country.

  • David Wells, New York Hall of Science

  • Erica Compton, Idaho Commission for Libraries
  • Johannes Troost, California Department of Education
  • Kamila Thigpen, Afterschool Alliance

ASTC Announces 2013 Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows

July 11th, 2013 - Posted in ASTC News, Professional Development by Mary Mathias

ASTC is pleased to announce the 2013 ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows. The Fellows are museum professionals from underrepresented groups, and will attend the 2013 ASTC Annual Conference to gain professional development experiences, a broader peer network, and the opportunity to acquire and hone their leadership skills. Thirteen new and five alumni fellows were chosen, representing one of the largest classes the program has seen since its 2001 launch.

This year’s class includes new Fellows:

  • Marcia Bueno- New York Hall of Science, Corona, NY
  • Michael Charles- Miami Science Museum, FL
  • Kris Kelly- TELUS Spark, the New Science Centre, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • L. Autumn King- Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA
  • Brittani Lane- EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Jeffrey Mehigan- Museum of Science, Boston, MA
  • Amanda Paige- University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Tamara Poles- North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC
  • Kyle Pong- Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, Reno, NV
  • Chelsea Rodriguez- Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA
  • Scott Shoemaker- Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • Daniela Siqueiros- Children’s Museum of Tucson, AZ
  • Dale Wilson- Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, NC

Alumni Fellows include:

  • Adrienne Barnett- Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
  • Tracey Cones-Renshaw- National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC
  • Jennifer Jenkins- WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology, Bloomington, IN
  • Josh Kemper- Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA
  • Mark Thorne- National Children’s Museum, National Harbor, MD
  • Merisa Camacho- California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA

For more information, visit www.astc.org/about/awards/awards.htm

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