How can science centers effectively use online resources to increase awareness about their programs? Where can informal science educators search for vetted programs and opportunities specific to their needs? During an ASTC 2012 session, Leveraging Free Online Resources to Expand Awareness of Informal Learning Programs, Carol Tang, director of the Coalition for Science After School (CSAS), Tara DeGeorges, online content manager for Time Warner Cable, and Kalie Sacco, program manager for the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), touched on these issues.
Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds “Connectory” is powered by CSAS’ National After School Science Directory. This searchable database is designed to increase access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education beyond the classroom for youth and families across the nation. The directory houses thousands of STEM opportunities, submitted by science centers, museums, schools, and other youth-serving organizations. Click here to submit your organization’s programs to the directory.
CAISE is also offering two new online resources for the informal science community. The Informal Science Education Evidence Wiki, iseevidencewiki.org, supports a public discussion of the case for informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The goal is to provide easy to read summaries of evidence that characterize the benefits and outcomes of ISE experiences. The Informal Commons is designed to help ISE professionals find resources quickly with one search engine accessing materials from many websites serving informal learning professionals.