Brief Educational Session Recaps: Saturday, October 13

(Session recaps provided by Jeremy Riga, ASTC 2012 communications volunteer from COSI)

We Love Science: Wonderful Discoveries about Our Wondrous World
“I love science. Do our visitors?” A 2010 poll of online readers asked, who do people trust when it comes to science? Scientists are mostly trusted, but that changes depending on the topic. People trust museums as sources of information. Nearly 30% of one museum’s visitors did not share the museum’s view of climate change. A speaker from another institution noticed that some visitors use the evolution display as a platform for teaching creationism. The point is that many visitors love science, but love it in different ways.

Creating Learning Spaces for Young Visitors
COSI wants to document and make visible the impact their work has had. Growing research partners to allow everyone access to the data. From early childhood perspective: height of visuals are important, taking into account kids riding in strollers. Adding small child elements to bigger museum pieces helps the younger audience engage. Dramatic play spaces have enhanced the visit for families. Young imaginations enjoy and appreciate the extra effort.
“My classroom is the museum.”

Communicating Climate Change: Building Global Awareness through Local Citizen Science
One institution uses “citizen scientists” that help them get temperature readings in the sand by having students and families collect data for them outside the museum. They give these people the GPS coordinates of the sensors and can then go locate the sites, download the data, and learn about temperature change and feel part of the process.

Product Demo: Increasing Revenue at Your Venue from a 3D Theater
3D growth: Theatrical, home consumer, aquariums, amusement parks, zoos, science centers, planetariums. 3D increases capture rate an average of 30%, but changes widely by geographical area. Raising revenue means mixing it up: moms and strollers, school groups, families.