for Your Science Center
By Colin Johnson
Museums and science centers are the partners and servants of a wide range of stakeholders, including their local
communities and political representatives, funders, and visitors themselves. The first challenge in advocating for the
science center's educational role is to help your listener understand that informal learning is not only an outcome, but
a process, which mirrors everyday life much more closely than classroom learning and which human beings undertake not
only very willingly, but with conspicuous success.
Economic impact of science centers
Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits
Edited by Philip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, Andrew W. Shouse, and Michael A. Feder, Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments, National Research Council, 2009
This report by the U.S. National Research Council summarizes evidence that “Learning is broader than schooling, and informal science environments and experiences play a crucial role," according
to editor Philip Bell. "These experiences can kick-start and sustain long-term interests that involve sophisticated learning." The study concluces, according to the NRC, that "learners can
experience excitement and motivation to learn about phenomena in the natural and physical world. They can come to understand and use concepts and facts related to science. They can learn how
scientists actually conduct their work using specialized tools and equipment. And they can develop an identity as someone who knows about, uses, and sometimes contributes to science." Read full report here
Science Centres, Research, and Science Learning
Presentation by Leonie Rennie, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, at the 2006 Conference of the Asia Pacific Network of Science & Technology Centres (ASPAC).
ASPAC06_Rennie (1,043 KB)| Need help?
and Economic Prosperity:The Economic Impact of Nonprofit
Arts Organizations and Their Audiences. This study,
released in 2002 by Americans for the Arts, revealed that
the nonprofit arts industry in the United States generates
$134 billion in economic activity every year, including
$24.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
at this site is an economic impact calculator
based on data collected in this study.
the Case for Science Centers, ASTC Dimensions,
January/February 2001. An article from this issue by Walter
Witschey, about "The Science Center as Community Powerhouse,"
is available online.
ASTC Statistics Analysis Package includes data
on attendance patterns and trends; school groups, teachers,
and youth; employees and volunteers; and science center
finances. Order the latest edition from ASTC Publications.
Impact of Science Centers/Museums on Their Surrounding Communities
Summary report and key references, in PDF format, from a
literature review carried out in 2001 by an international
group of science centers:
(75 KB)| Need
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