By Anthony (Bud) Rock
When someone asks you about where you work or why we need science centers anyway, do you launch into a complicated explanation about the importance of science literacy and creativity for the well-being and productivity of future generations? Then after you have tied yourself in knots, do you find it so much easier just to relate the stories of the many people who have been excited and inspired by the work your science center does?
ASTC serves as the leading advocate for the science center and museum field, speaking on behalf of the tremendous service that our members provide in their communities everywhere. While we compile valuable data that helps make the case for our capabilities and impact, our strongest communication tool continues to be the stories.
For this reason, ASTC has added to its website an exciting new feature called #myscimuseum at astc.org/myscimuseum. Here we have begun to collect widely diverse quotes, videos, and photos that demonstrate over and over again how meaningful our work can be. These are the stories of our visitors, science center professionals, volunteers, and local supporters who are the best possible spokespeople in support of our missions. They talk about science center memories that have stayed with them, experiences that have inspired them, and why they love “their” science center.
I strongly urge you to visit this new page, to enjoy the material provided, and, most importantly, to encourage your community to add new stories by posting on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #myscimuseum, or by submitting stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or astc.org/submit-your-story. Also, take a few minutes for impromptu interviews—not just with children but also with parents, staff, local officials, and others who periodically drop into your institution.
Each visitor has a story or memory of the science center. Collectively, these anecdotes will help define us. We at ASTC look forward to a website brimming with science center excitement. Thanks so much for your contributions.
Anthony (Bud) Rock is ASTC’s president and CEO.