Future Cities: How might science museums/centers contribute to making cities more livable for more people?

“We now live in an age of cities. Cities are the engines of global innovation and the drivers of global change. A sustainable planet is not possible without sustainable cities, and this will require enormous innovation and creativity,” remarked Patrick Hamilton, the Science Museum of Minnesota’s director of global change initiatives, at the ASTC 2015... Read More

Creating the Lifelong Learning Destination: Adult learners in ISE settings

Preeti Gupta, director of youth learning and research at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York City, moderated the very informative session “Creating the Lifelong Learning Destination: Adult learners in ISE settings” on Saturday afternoon. She started the session by posing the deceptively simple question, “Why do adult learning?” A 2009 study found... Read More

Providing Low Cost Access to Our Centers: Truly serving the underserved in our communities

Generosity doesn’t always require money. Science centers and museums are generous every day with ideas, facilities, knowledge, and gathering the community. Can this definition of generosity be what our institutions aspire to? This was the question posed by Catherine Horne, president and CEO of Discovery Place in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Alex Zwissler, former executive... Read More

How Can Science Museums Adapt to Fundamental Challenges Raised by the Science of Science Communication?

Recent research on science communication challenges our assumptions that understandable communication of science will bring the public to the best decisions about crucial issues for the future. What does the research say? How does this challenge our beliefs about informal science education? A Saturday morning ASTC 2015 session led by Larry Bell from the Museum... Read More

Whither the Planetarium: Various futures for digital domes

Written by Lesley Markham Three interesting and different perspectives were offered on the role of the modern planetarium during the session, “Whither the Planetarium: Various futures for digital domes” on Saturday, October 17. Should they primarily provide astronomy shows, or should we embrace the wider use of digital materials, allowing broader content? Mike Shanahan from... Read More

Leading From Every Level

Written by Lesley Markham Members of ASTC’s Leadership and Field Development (LFD) Committee hosted a panel to help the 60+ participants think about their careers and the careers of those for whom they have responsibility in their institutions. The panelists shared their own career paths and demonstrated with great humor how they each got to... Read More

NASA Past, Present, and Potential Strategies in STEM Poster Session

Written by Sean Smith The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – a regular ASTC Annual Conference participant on a variety of levels – offered a look at “NASA Past, Present, and Potential Strategies in STEM” during an Exhibit Hall poster session this morning. Presenters included Mary Frances Sladek, director, STEM education and accountability... Read More

Lesley Lewis Receives the ASTC Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution

Written by Sean Smith During the opening session of the 2015 ASTC Annual Conference, the Association presented the ASTC Fellow Award for Outstanding Contribution, the Association’s highest honor, to Lesley Lewis, former CEO of the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, former ASTC board chair, and current museum consultant. ASTC Fellows are individuals who merit special... Read More