Valuing our Work

By Cristin Dorgelo

As we spoke with hundreds of our members in our 2018 listening process, one consistent theme came up time and time again. In these conversations, you expressed urgency in joining together through the ASTC community to make the case for the value of our field’s work to funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Our shared sense is that never has the time been more urgent to make the case that science matters and that innovative approaches to science education, communication, and engagement can change lives and communities for the better.

Making the case for the value of our field’s work—to local, regional, and national audiences—will continue to be a core strategic pillar in our work here at ASTC. We strive to be your collective voice and to support you in being effective advocates for the work of your institution—whether you are telling the story of how your institution fosters the future STEM workforce, or of how your programs increase access to STEM by engaging youth from diverse backgrounds, or of how your team supports your community in applying science, technology, and innovation to address global challenges locally, we aim to help you spread the word.

Feature articles in the May/June issue of Dimensions magazine show great drive and leadership in making the case for how science centers and science museums directly and indirectly support local, regional, and national priorities. One desert museum used data-driven solutions to ignite a sense of purpose. One executive director shares tips and tricks from his experiences of making the case in two very different cities. One museum leveraged philanthropy, tourism, and connections to solidly position itself as both a museum and as a convening space for civic engagement. Another museum evaluated a blockbuster exhibit, measured the impact, and shared results with funders, partners, stakeholders—and potential future donors. And a museum consultant shares advice provided to clients to help them realize the full potential of their worth, measure their impact, and demonstrate the results.

I hope you find something of value to make the case for your institution. We’re all in this together, and the success of any one of us lifts the whole field.

Cristin Dorgelo is ASTC’s President and CEO.