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Professional Development

RAPs 2008
  June 2004 RAP
Participants from 15 countries attended a June 2004 RAP about mobile exhibits hosted by Technopolis, the Flemish Science Center, Belgium
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ASTC RAPs (Roundtables for Advancing the Professions) provide a forum for museum professionals to network, learn together, and expand their knowledge base. Hosted by ASTC-member institutions worldwide, these small-group weekend intensives have covered a wide range of topics—from camp-ins and youth programs to information-technology trends and outdoor science parks. Participation fees, which help to defray host museum costs, are generally US$50 for employees of ASTC-member institutions and US$100 for nonmembers.

Proposing a RAP

2008 RAPs

January 25–26, 2008
Cancelled, but may be rescheduled
Reconciling Science and Religion in a Science Center: Do We Need To?
COSI Columbus, Columbus, Ohio

How do we help our visitors explore issues in which science and religion seem to be in conflict? Do you address the difference between a scientific and a religious way of knowing? Do we embrace controversy or steer clear of it? What are the implications of our decisions for the various departments within our organizations? We’ll share what we’ve learned from our fall 2007 public lecture “Reconciling Science and Religion.” Bring a team and take part in discussions relevant to exhibits, marketing, and education. Discuss what has worked, and what has not. Chart a course of action with the help of others in the field.

Contact: COSI Call Center for registration
Phone: 614/228-2674 x2541; Fax 614/629-3150
Suggestions for discussions? Contact Joan Harless 614/228-2674 x2354
E-mail: jharless@mail.cosi.org


April 7–8, 2008
Strategic Branding: Enhancing your Institution’s Reputation
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Tampa, Florida

Hosted by MOSI, this workshop organized by the Florida Association of Museums Foundation and the Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts will help participants think strategically about ways to position their institutions with the media, funders, community leaders, and the public. Hear from the VP of marketing at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center about how stories, emotions, and the entire experience can create your brand. Learn how a collaborative marketing campaign strengthened participating organizations’ brands. Craft an effective elevator speech. Ask questions, brainstorm with colleagues, and discover ways to enhance your own organization. Tour MOSI, and enjoy an evening reception at an area museum (TBA). 

Contact: Visit www.flamuseums.org/programming/workshops/ to download information on registration and accommodations.

Imagine Math as a Vehicle for Your Community Partnerships
Offered in four locations:

November 14–15, 2008
Louisville Science Center
Louisville, Kentucky

December 1, 2008
Maine Discovery Museum
Bangor, Maine

January 2009 (days TBD)
Saint Louis Science Center
St. Louis, Missouri

U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Huntsville, Alabama

Increasingly, after-school hours are central to providing students with good science and math experiences. Collaborations between science-technology centers and community-based after-school programs can help. How can science centers build capacity in mathematics for local after-school programs? Come hear and share information about successful collaborative math projects, develop strategies for forming your own local partnerships, and learn about the successful collaborative models After-School Math PLUS, an NSF-funded program developed by the Educational Equity Center at AED in conjunction with staff from the New York Hall of Science and the Saint Louis Science Center.

Contact: Amy Weng
E-mail: aweng@aed.org


May 16–18, 2008
Implementing Transactive Exhibits and Programs
Explora, in partnership with Orlando Science Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Many museums are developing exhibits and programs with "transactive" qualities—loosely meaning that they contain many manipulable materials that change through use and also provide open-ended opportunities for people’s habits of action and behaviors to be changed as a result of their engagement with those materials. Even the concept of transactive exhibits and programs is undergoing development and change. Join us to explore practical applications of this evolving concept and to experience ways in which Explora, Orlando Science Center, and others are trying to implement transactive qualities in exhibit activities and classroom programs. We will spend time exploring how exhibit materials can change and what role facilitation and environments designed for comfort and self-directed learning can play in enhancing transactive experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an Explora Adult Night and to visit Acoma Pueblo.

Contact: Carrie Kaser
Phone: 505/224-8326; Fax 505/224-8325
E-mail: ckaser@explora.us


May 20–21, 2008
Developing and Implementing Dynamic Science Demonstrations for Children and Families
Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Join museum educators and demonstrators for a lively exchange of experiences and ideas on how to make the most of live science demonstrations in children’s museums and science centers. Explore such topics as “hot” versus “cold” demonstration techniques (see Eddie Goldstein’s article in the May/June 2007 issue of ASTC Dimensions), the value of entertaining educational programs, challenges in developing and training science demonstrators, ways to entice guests to attend demonstrations, benefits or drawbacks of integrating new technology into live demonstrations, and the role that theatrics play in great science demos.

Contact: Erica Campbell
Phone: 423/648-6094; Fax 423/267-9344
E-mail: edb@cdmfun.org

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