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Browse PublicationsAre We There Yet?
  Are We There Yet?
Are We There Yet?
Conversations about Best Practices in Science Exhibition Development

Kathleen McLean
and Catherine McEver, editors
The Exploratorium, 2004

What goes into planning a successful exhibition, and how do we know one when we see it? This book gathers the thinking of leading exhibition professionals in a point-counterpoint format that grew out of a 2003 invitational conference at the Exploratorium. Featured in the 132-page book are descriptions of "Twelve Noteworthy Science Exhibitions," including budgets and timelines, project goals, participants, and narratives of the exhibition development process. A CD augments these descriptions with color images and several video walkthroughs.

The concluding section, "In the Vernacular," suggests strategies for keeping creativity alive while learning from past practice, using three novel formats—a "Creativity Killers" poster to hang by your desk, a "Muzine" full of irreverent ideas, and tear-out "Weed Seeds" cards with tips for encouraging innovation.

Kathleen McLean is director of the Center for Public Exhibition and Public Programs at the Exploratorium and author of the ASTC bestseller Planning for People in Museum Exhibitions. Catherine McEver is an artist and writer who has documented planning meetings for foundations, museums, and science centers nationwide.

Winner, Honorable Mention, Educational Resources
2005 AAM Publications Competition


Table of Contents
Foreword—Barry A. VanDeman
Introduction—Kathleen McLean and Catherine McEver
Part One: The Conversations
      Introduction: Best Practices Should be a Tool, Not a Rule —Kathleen McLean
      The Best of Practices, the Worst of Times —Jay Rounds
      How Clear Goals and Objectives Can Help Us Lose Our Way —Patrick Tevlin
      Writing More Useful Goals and Objectives —Beverly Serrell
      Teams and Goals: Conversations about how We Work Together
      Teams Take Too Long: Think F.A.S.T.! —Paul Orselli
      Some Thoughts on Teams —Jim Volkert
      Ample Time and Money: Bottom Line Requirement or Practical Noise?
      —Paul Martin
      Time and Money: A Pragmatic Perspective —Claire Pillsbury
      Project Management and Innovative Exhibitions: A Perfect Pair —Robert       Garfinkle and Susan Koch
      Questions from the Field about Time, Money, and Project Management
      Beyond Interactivity —Judy Rand
      Emotional Rescue —Stephen Pizzey
      Evaluation —Donald Hughes
      What Does Evaluation Have to Do with Best Practices? —Sue Allen
      Questions from the Field about Evaluation
      Employing New Technology: Think about the Interface —Amanda Parkes
      Learning Design —Sue Allen
      Embracing Ideas —Kathleen McLean
Part Two: Twelve Noteworthy Science Exhibitions
      Introduction: A Detailed Look at Twelve Noteworthy Science Exhibitions
      —Kathleen McLean and Catherine McEver
      Wolves and Humans: Coexistence, Competition and Conflict —Science Museum of       Minnesota, Paul Martin
      Traveling the Pacific —The Field Museum, Phyllis Rabineau
      Psychology: Understanding Ourselves, Understanding Each Other —American       Psychological Association and Ontario Science Centre, Gretchen Jennings
      Darkened Waters: Profile of an Oil Spill —Pratt Museum, Michael S. O'Meara
      Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime —Fort Worth Museum of Science and       History, Charlie Walter
      Engineer It! —Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Janell C. Jones
      Memory —Exploratorium, Michael Pearce
      Congo Gorilla Forest —Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx Zoo, Sitara Cave,       John Fraser, John Gwynne, and Kim Vanmourik
      Frogs —Exploratorium, Charles Carlson and Alice Krasinski
      Sounds from the Vaults —The Field Museum, Carolyn S. Johnson and Alaka       Wali, with Richard Faron and Bruce Odland
      Sound Lab —Experience Music Project, Andrea Weatherhead
      Jellies: Living Art —Monterey Bay Aquarium, Jaci Tomulonis
      CD ROM
Part Three: In the Vernacular
      Introduction: In the Vernacular —Kathleen McLean and Catherine McEver
      Weed Seeds Cards and Free Passes
      Creativity Killers Poster
      Comments from Non-Visitors
Appendix A: The Preconference Survey/Questionnaire and Respondents
Appendix B: Conference Participants
Appendix C: Ways of Assessing an Exhibition

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