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Dimensions

Dimensions, November/December 2005—Active and Engaged: Science Centers and Informal Learning

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2005 Research into informal learning, like other types of scientific investigation, is incremental and self-referential. The process may seem opaque to observers; yet over time, consensus emerges and points to promising new avenues of exploration. The content of this issue was informed by three recent initiatives: the October 2004 commissioning by... Read More

Dimensions, September/October 2005—Engaging Citizens: Science Centers and Social Responsibility

IN THIS ISSUE September/October 2005 At the 4th Science Centre World Congress, held April 11—15, in Rio de Janeiro, attendees considered how science centers might succeed in “breaking barriers [and] engaging citizens” by providing the public with interactive, informal, capacity-building access to science and technology education. In this issue, we have chosen to continue some... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2005—Mission Based, Market Savvy

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2005 When we market science centers, what are we selling? A fun day for the family? Startling and weird phenomena? Meaningful encounters with principles that affect people’s lives? An introduction to the scientific method itself? For nonprofit museums, marketing is more complex than the classic “four P’s” of product, place (i.e.... Read More

Dimensions, May/June 2005—Closing the Gap: Reaching Female Audiences in Science Centers

IN THIS ISSUE May/June 2005 This issue was already planned when Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, addressing a January National Bureau of Economic Research conference on diversity in the science and engineering (S&E) workforce, set off a media storm. Speculating on why so few women hold high-level academic positions in S&E, Summers cited, in this... Read More

Dimensions, March/April 2005—The Art of Advocacy: Winning Public Support

March/April 2005 IN THIS ISSUE Strong public support for science centers and museums should be a given. With science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) high on government priority lists, and legislators worldwide eager to improve STEM education, strengthen science and technology workforces, and boost national economies, it seems logical that ASTC members would receive a... Read More

Dimensions, January/February 2005—The Campus Connection: Linking Museums with Higher Education

IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2005 Almost every science center has some kind of campus connection, whether it’s a formal affiliation (26 ASTC-member museums are run by colleges or universities), partnership in a grant-funded project, or an informal meeting of minds on the departmental level. Researchers find science centers a good match as community partners and... Read More

Dimensions, September/October 2004—Farther Afield: The Changing School Visit

IN THIS ISSUE September/October 2004 Field trips, excursions, school visits—call them what you will, on-site programs for teachers and students remain a key element of science center operations. But a recent change in education policy in the United States, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, has put these “bread-and-butter” programs in question. Under... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2004—Science for Early Learners: Reaching Very Young Audiences

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2004 Last year at this time, we wrote about an audience seldom found in science centers—older adults—and described how museums are reaching out to these lifelong learners. In this issue, we turn our attention to what has been called the “hidden audience” of science centers—very young children—whose needs are sometimes overlooked... Read More