The digital publication of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Dimensions, September/October 2014—Celebrating Community Engagement


September/October 2014

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Science centers and museums are community-focused institutions. In this issue, we explore many ways science centers are engaging and empowering people in all parts of their communities. Working alongside community members and partners, science centers are addressing key issues, from protecting the environment, to increasing high school graduation rates, to developing the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce. By involving community members in the co-creation of exhibitions or programs, science centers are building a sense of ownership while incorporating community voices and talents to create something greater than what could have been produced in house. To reach new audiences, science centers are bringing programs to people where they are, whether through festival events in underserved urban neighborhoods, mobile outreach to rural areas, or even science education in prisons. And centers and their communities are supporting each other in times of disaster or unrest, highlighting the key role that science centers play in community life.
  • Learning Conversations: Inviting Community Partnership in a Science Center, by Wit Ostrenko and Fred Steier
  • Building an Exhibition One Relationship at a Time, by Jason Bosher
  • A Kaleidoscope of Stories from the People of La Guajira, Colombia, by Sigrid Falla and Augusto Reyes
  • From Fossils to Face Masks: Connecting with Collections in Alaska, by Theresa Bakker
  • From Downtown to Across the State: Taking a Central Role in STEM Education in Arizona, by Michele A. Meyer
  • Science Festivals: Celebrations of Science Around the World
  • Six Ways to Make Your Science Festival Unforgettable, by Natalie Ireland
  • Community Engagement in the Wake of Disaster
  • Into the Light: Bringing Science Education to the Incarcerated, by Nalini Nadkarni
  • Engaging Families of Incarcerated Individuals, by John Polatch
Online Departments

From the CEO: The communities (in which) we serve
Viewpoints: If you could change one thing about the science center and museum field, what would it be?
Q&A with Molly Paul: Turtle power

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