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POSTED on 3/9/2015
Chief Learning Officer
New York Hall of Science
Queens, NY

Department: Research & Design
Reports to: President & CEO
Job Code: <Onet / SOC Code>
FLSA Status: Exempt (Executive)

Background: Since its founding at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) has inspired millions of people—children, teachers, families– by offering creative, participatory ways to learn and encouraging people to explore their curiosity and nurture their creativity. Located in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the country, NYSCI welcomes 500,000 visitors each year and serves thousands more through outreach in schools, teacher professional development and participation in a variety of events, research and design initiatives.

NYSCI is a leader in the science museum field, recognized for its highly regarded exhibitions, programs, and products, all of which are informed by strategies of engagement called Design-Make-Play. The defining characteristics of Design-Make-Play — open-ended exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance, deep engagement and delight — are the ingredients that inspire passionate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learners. NYSCI engages diverse communities of learners, particularly young people in STEM, by fostering the excitement of self-directed exploration and by tapping into the joy of learning intrinsic in young people’s play. Our transformative model for STEM not only invites broad participation, but also makes learning and engagement irresistible. NYSCI has approximately 110 full-time and over 170 part-time staff-members.

Position Overview:
NYSCI has been at the forefront of creating innovative approaches to exhibition development, research and design, youth, adult and family programming, and STEM education and learning. Through a range of strategies from new applications of technology to rich mentorship experiences, NYSCI creates effective and exciting learning experiences that engage diverse young people, particularly those who do not yet envision themselves as STEM learners, with an invitation to personally relevant STEM experiences. This invitation is central to NYSCI’s DNA and is a direct result of the diverse urban environment in which NYSCI was built and thrives.

The Chief Learning Officer (CLO) position is an extraordinary opportunity to shape and lead an innovative, energetic, and world-class team of educators, exhibit and media designers, researchers, and science learning specialists. The Chief Learning Officer is tasked with building a future that draws effectively on the best of the past, while continuing to create new and irresistible pathways into STEM learning for NYSCI’s diverse audiences.

Function: The Chief Learning Officer (CLO) oversees research and design, exhibit planning and creation, education services, and youth programs divisions. The CLO reports to NYSCI’s President & CEO, serves as a member of NYSCI’s senior management team, working closely with other senior managers to ensure effective alignment and execution of NYSCI’s mission. The CLO is also an ambassador and connecter to the many different sectors – from academic to artistic to scientific to educational – that ultimately can help NYSCI to deliver on our vision for STEM learning and engagement.

Principal Responsibilities:

  1. Inspire, lead, and develop the work of the Research & Design division, including: development of exhibition and programs, research and evaluation initiatives, education services, and The Alan J Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists.
  2. Provide guidance and direction to direct reports in setting performance standards around the development of exhibits and programs that align with NYSCI’s Design-Make-Play focus for STEM learning.
  3. Oversee division’s financial and budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, and ensure the effective use of funding.
  4. In close coordination with NYSCI’s Institutional Advancement Department, develop and advise on proposals and programs across division.
  5. Promote NYSCI through participation in local and national events and meetings, and by developing partnerships with industry, educational institutions, other museums, scientific advisors, and varied collaborators.
  6. Represent NYSCI with major funders, including foundations, corporations and government agencies.
  7. Develop methods and procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the division’s work.
  8. Write articles for publications and deliver presentations at meetings, events or conferences to promote services, exchange ideas, or accomplish objectives.
  9. Run quarterly Education and Exhibits committee of the board of trustees meeting, in collaboration with CEO and Committee Chair.
  10. Complete other tasks as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities: VP Science & Technology; Director Center for Play, Science, and Technology Learning; Director AJ Friedman Center for Development of Young Scientists; Vice President Education Services; Director Design Based Learning; Exhibit Projects Creative Director; Director Digital Learning

Qualifications: 15 years experience leading the development of programmatic experiences and exhibition development and/or conducing applied research and design in educational settings. Knowledge of how people learn and engage with STEM content, with a particular emphasis on how to best support diverse audiences is key. Deep understanding of the unique affordances of informal environments is essential. Advanced degree in relevant STEM field(s) is preferred.

Knowledge:

  • Commitment to the philosophy and mission of NYSCI.
  • Passion and knowledge about the role of research & design to support creative, engaged learning.
  • Experience in development of innovative and novel content for informal settings (including exhibitions and programs for diverse and multi-age audiences).
  • Knowledge of youth growth and development; of programmatic responses to youth strengths and needs.
  • Ability to inspire others.
  • Ability to get ideas accepted and to guide a group or individual to accomplish the task.
  • Demonstrable experience in working with teams of museum designers, educators, researchers and fabricators with the ability to harness team creativity that translates into effective exhibition and programming.
  • Strong communications skills with the ability to express ideas clearly both in written and oral communications.
  • Knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Experience serving diverse and multi-age audiences of children and families.

Evenings/Weekends

  • Ability and willingness to participate in events outside the workday schedule.
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends as needed.

Management/Leadership

  • Work with staff to identify their developmental needs and then coach, mentor or otherwise help them to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Ability to establish long-range objectives and specify the strategies and actions to achieve them. Develop policies, procedures, methods and standards within the department. Conduct weekly or bi weekly meeting with Research & Design Department staff to coordinate efforts.
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of direct reports, and recommend and effectively implement personnel actions, such as promotions and dismissals.

Budgets

  • Ability to develop a budget, direct and coordinate department’s budget activities to effectively fund operations, maximize investments, manage resources and increase efficiency.

Compensation: Commensurate with education, skills and experience, including an excellent NYSCI benefits package.

HOW TO APPLY: Qualified candidates should send CV or resume and cover letter with salary range/requirements via email. No calls please.

Application Deadline: April 30, 2015
Targeted Start Date: July 1, 2015

Email to jobs@nysci.org. Please include job title in subject line.

The New York Hall of Science supports diversity in the workplace. NYSCI is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer (EOE) and supports a drug free workplace.