ASTC Intensives: New Preconference Opportunities


The 2018 ASTC Annual Conference will feature the debut of ASTC Intensives—full-day, immersive workshops that will take place on Friday, September 28, before the official start of the conference on Saturday.

Created, designed, and delivered by a group of experts in the field, the ASTC Intensives are an opportunity for conference attendees to participate in focused learning experiences on a single topic for a full day, as well as to connect and network with peers with similar occupational and topical interests.

ASTC Intensives focus on topics within the three ASTC 2018 tracks: Leadership and Professional Development, Business Operations, and Content and Design.

All ASTC Intensives have limited enrollment and require preregistration. The registration fee for each is $150, which includes meals and transportation, if necessary.


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Exhibition Development for Family Audiences

In this full-day workshop, professionals new to exhibit development will learn how to apply family-learning strategies to the exhibition planning process. Participants will learn the roles and responsibilities of an exhibition planning team. They will also learn exhibit-planning skills including how to hone an exhibition concept; create cohesive interactives, displays, and programs; use tools to organize content; and incorporate evaluation throughout the planning process.

Session Leader: Melissa Pederson, Exhibit Developer, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Session Presenters: Susan Foutz, Director of Research and Evaluation, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Cathy Hamaker, Exhibit Developer, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Carey Meier, Programs Manager of Interpretations, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Becky Wolfe, Manager, Science Education and Resources, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Preregistration required. Limited to 20 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Improve Understanding, Build Hope, and Empower Visitors to Act on Climate! A NNOCCI Introductory Workshop

The public trusts informal science centers, and so the desire is high to use our positions in helping the United States move forward with productive climate solutions. But it can be nerve-wracking to engage the public, and many institutions aren’t sure where to start. With a team of social scientists, communications strategists, climate scientists, and informal educators, the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) has designed an evidence-based approach to climate change communication that empowers educators and visitors as active citizens. The workshop will teach the basics of NNOCCI’s methods, give you examples from peer institutions, and help you practice your new skills.

Session Leader: Juliann Chavez, Labs Manager, Discovery Place, Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina
Session Presenters: John Anderson, Director of Education, New England Aquarium, Boston; Hannah Pickard, NNOCCI Program Manager, New England Aquarium, Boston
Preregistration required. Limited to 40 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


NEON: National Education Outreach Network

Outreach programs are some of the most diverse, dynamic, and innovative in the science center field. This session will address a wide variety of facets of science center outreach. We’ll hear from multiple presenters about different programs and demos, address new opportunities, and brainstorm solutions to outreach challenges.

Session Leader: Jonah Cohen, Manager of Science Education, McWane Science Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Session Presenters: Michael Adams, Manager-Traveling Programs, Museum of Science, Boston; Stephanie Airoldi, Education Department Manager, Connecticut Science Center, Hartford; Noel Jackson, Head of Education, International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom; Anika Taylor, Outreach Programs Manager, The Bakken Library and Museum, Minneapolis; Vanessa Westbrook, STEM Education Manager, The DoSeum, San Antonio, Texas
Preregistration required. Limited to 60 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


OpenMAKE: A Making and Tinkering Pop-up Experience

Join ASTC’s Making and Tinkering Community of Practice for an experimental session where we’ll co-create an OpenMAKE event that’s equal parts meet-up and make it up. This ASTC Intensive workshop will be exactly that—intense—but also a total blast. Attendees will get a chance to actively participate in the research, development, and implementation of a pop-up experience. We’ll spend the first half of the day creating the installation and the second half facilitating and debriefing. It’ll be an action packed day “making” the most of your ASTC 2018 experience!

Session Leader: Karen Wilkinson, Tinkering Studio Director, Exploratorium, San Francisco
Session Presenters: Lydia Beall, Program Manager, Design Challenges, Museum of Science, Boston; Keith Braafladt, Director of the Learning Technologies Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul; Lisa Brahms, Director of Learning and Research, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; Rachel Donegan, Science Educator and Program Manager, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, Vermont; Lianna Kali, Project Coordinator, Exploratorium, San Francisco; Brittney Kluger, Professional Learning Specialist, Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, Arkansas; Monika Mayer, Museum Consultant, Berkeley, California; Anthony Pelaez, Director of Education, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), Tampa, Florida; Mike Petrich, Making – Learning Studio, Exploratorium, San Francisco; Lisa Regalla, Deputy Director, Center for Childhood Creativity, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito, California; Dana Schloss, Exhibit Designer, New York Hall of Science, Queens, New York; Sherlock Terry, Assistant Director of Exhibits, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, Vermont; Prinda Wanakule, Educator, Designer, The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, California; Peter Wardrip, University of Wisconsin Madison
Preregistration required. Limited to 50 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Organizational Change, Equity, and Inclusion Work in Informal Science and Technology Centers: Building Capacity for Change

Informal science institutions (ISIs) are embedded in communities where engagement is burdened by social inequities and lack of inclusion. This ASTC Intensive aims to build the capacity of participants to address one of the foremost challenges of ISIs: matching our missions, changing our structures, and educating our staff to embrace the urgency of equity work. Presenters and participants will collaboratively explore the complexity of equity and inclusion work in ISI settings. Presenters will provide examples of, and practice in, field-specific, practitioner-focused actions, e.g., a training protocol for visitor-facing staff, and frameworks, e.g., appreciative inquiry, for organizational change.

Session Leader: Joanne Jones-Rizzi, Vice President, STEM Equity & Education, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
Session Presenters: Cecilia Garibay, Principal, Garibay Group, Chicago, Illinois, and Ellen O’Connor, Director of Public Operations and Visitor Services, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota
Preregistration required. Limited to 30 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Leadership and Professional Development.


Reach for the Stars: A Hands-on Workshop with NASA’s Universe of Learning

Join NASA’s Universe of Learning for a hands-on experience with the universe beyond our solar system. Spend time in an immersive virtual reality environment, control robotic telescopes to scan the skies, find gorgeous images of galaxies and nebulae, and take all of these experiences home to your audience. Participants will explore a wide variety of NASA astrophysics learning resources and will spend time workshopping new ways to apply what they learn. The goal is to enable participants to adapt NASA resources in innovative ways to their own local context to better enable learning and advance scientific literacy.

Session Leader: Timothy Rhue II, Senior Informal Education Specialist, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore
Session Presenters: Mary Dussault, Science Education Program Manager, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Brandon Lawton, Education and Outreach Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore
Preregistration required. Limited to 30 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Reflecting on Practice Coaching Workshop: Blending In-person and Online

Reflecting on Practice (RoP) is a professional learning program for educational professionals in informal learning institutions, such as botanical gardens, national parks, nature centers, and zoos. The program immerses educators from an informal learning institution in the latest research on learning and encourages them to examine how these ideas relate specifically to their own practice. Experiences within the program strengthen a shared understanding and language among educators within an institution and cultivate a culture of learning. This workshop is designed for leaders and/or emerging leaders (mid-level managers, coordinators, or directors) from education or volunteer departments at an institution to become an RoP facilitator and be able to lead the program at their organizations.

Session Leader: Lynn Tran, Researcher, The Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California
Session Presenter: Catherine Halversen, Senior Project Director, Teaching and Learning, The Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California
Preregistration required. Limited to 24 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Reinvent Your Makerspace with Digital Fabrication Tools

With the momentum of the maker movement, more science museums are adding makerspaces to exhibit floors and special programs. Digital fabrication makerspaces and 3D printing really capture the imagination of the public and inspire creativity, so reinvent your makerspace for this new wave of technology! Experience hands-on projects with a laser cutter, 3D printer, and vinyl cutter and learn from the experience of the Carnegie Science Center (CSC) about implementing a fully digital makerspace into the institution. From learning about the tools and technologies to implementing new makerspace programming, Fab Lab CSC staff will share best practices and best projects to get you started with digital making.

Session Leader: Liz Whitewolf, Fab Lab Technical and Education Manager, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh
Session Presenter: Jon Doctorick, Presenter, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh
Preregistration required. Limited to 16 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Reinventing Visitor Engagement through a Framework for Observing and Facilitating Learning

Build your capacity to advance visitors’ learning through their engagement with interactive science exhibits. Participants will learn how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science and engineering practices, learning progressions, and high-leverage facilitation strategies can help reinvent visitor engagement. Participants will work with an existing learning framework informed by NGSS practices, learning progressions, and observations of visitors. They will then build and test their own frameworks through observing and interacting with visitors and exhibits—and discover how to use the framework to select strategies likely to lead to more sophisticated visitor engagement.

Session Leader: Ron Skinner, Director of Education, MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara, California
Session Presenter: Danielle Harlow, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara
Preregistration required. Limited to 60 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch). ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.


Science Center Public Forums: Facilitating Deliberative Conversations about Socio-scientific Issues

Science Centers are reinventing themselves as community hubs for problem solving and civic engagement. Deliberative forum programs engage adult and teen audiences in substantive conversations about issues where science and society intersect. The morning session, aimed at newcomers to forum-style programming, will discuss motivations for hosting forums and share publicly available tools for producing them on a variety of socio-scientific issues, including a sample forum about self-driving cars. The afternoon session will cover the development, evaluation, and dissemination of the outcomes of forum programs. Participants will suggest topics for future forum programs, to be used in a culminating group design exercise.

Session Leader: David Sittenfeld, Program Manager, Forum, Museum of Science, Boston
Session Presenters: Larry Bell, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Museum of Science, Boston; Emily Hostetler, Forum Education Associate, Museum of Science, Boston; Katie Todd, Research & Evaluation Associate, Museum of Science, Boston; Marshall Wilson, Forum Fellow, Museum of Science, Boston
Preregistration required. Limited to 60 participants. Fee: $150 per person (includes breakfast and lunch).
ASTC 2018 Track: Content and Design.