The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) has been proud to serve as the host for the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) for the past 15 years. Since it was established in 2007, CAISE has provided essential resources and support to the informal science learning community.
Operating under a cooperative agreement between ASTC and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), CAISE served as the resource center for NSF’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program—providing an extensive repository of projects, research literature, evaluation reports, and other documents related to high quality, evidence-based informal STEM learning work on the InformalScience.org website. CAISE has convened task forces, inquiry groups, principal investigator meetings, and other events to facilitate discussion and identify needs and opportunities for those who design for, research, or evaluate informal STEM learning experiences and settings. CAISE has also developed and supported numerous resources and initiatives to support diversity and equity across the informal science learning community.
CAISE has fostered collaboration in and served the wide variety of settings for informal science learning, including citizen science, making and tinkering, media, public libraries, science centers and museums, science communication, and out-of-school programs.
The CAISE team and ASTC are working hard to seamlessly transition CAISE resources and the InformalScience.org website to the new Informal STEM Learning Equity Resource Center led by TERC in collaboration with the Detroit Zoological Society, Digital Promise, Organic Oneness, CAST, and Accessible Technology Services. We are excited to see where this new team takes our field and look forward to being active participants in their work.
ASTC extends its sincere appreciation to the many individuals and organizations who have led, guided, partnered with, and participated in CAISE activities over these past 15 years—and for the close partnership with NSF that has enabled CAISE to thrive and offer critical services to the field of informal science learning.