Mississippi Children’s Museum honored with 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Congratulations to the Mississippi Children’s Museum (Jackson, Mississippi) for being named as one of six recipients of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service! This award, which is bestowed by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is considered the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant …

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Reclaiming our science center: Youth co-design of the Dr. Katherine Johnson Room

Educators at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, Michigan partnered with youth representatives across the city and with University of Michigan STEM learning researchers to re-think and re-design the Center with a focus on social justice. Together, we embarked on a project we referred to as Reclaiming the Science Center (from January 2019 to February …

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Smithsonian-led Vaccines & US Initiative launches

Earlier today, a new Smithsonian-led nationwide initiative was launched to activate museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions in supporting efforts to provide Americans with accessible and trustworthy resources related to COVID-19 vaccination: “Vaccines & US: Cultural Organizations for Community Health.” The new VaccinesAndUS.org website includes free resources that cultural organizations can use to help their …

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ASTC members receive nearly $1 million from National Endowment for the Humanities

The U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced $24 million in grants for 225 humanities projects across the country, including four awards worth nearly $1 million to ASTC member institutions. The announcement includes grants in a number of areas, including the preservation of historical and cultural collections, the creation of exhibitions and public …

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National Endowment for the Humanities offers emergency relief grants

The U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has released details of a new funding program as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These emergency relief grants will provide direct grants to individual institutions, designed to help the humanities community—broadly defined—recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (A separate …

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Learn how to grow your corporate sponsorship program

Early in my career, I worked in a museum with a storied history of corporations’ dictating content. There were even instances of corporations creating entire exhibitions. It was a difficult introduction to corporate partnerships. Thankfully, there were a few stellar colleagues at that museum who modeled alternate paths. I spent the next decade or so …

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ASTC members named finalists for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Five ASTC members have been announced as finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Awarded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities. In the past 15 years, …

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American Rescue Plan includes provisions helpful for museums

Later today, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to approve the version of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which recently passed the Senate on a party-line vote. House approval will send the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 recovery bill for President Biden’s signature. While much of the media has focused on the direct payments …

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Revising RACE

In early 2007, the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) opened an exhibition on the history, human variation, and lived experience of race. The groundbreaking RACE: Are We So Different? was created by a multi-racial team from the American Anthropological Association and Science Museum of Minnesota, with funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The exhibition …

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UK science center is first to serve as large vaccination location

The International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, opened last week as a COVID-19 vaccination location operated by England’s National Health Service (NHS). It is believed to be the first large-scale vaccination site hosted by a science center. The vaccination clinic, which has the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,000 people per …

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Three ASTC members receive $100k COVID relief grants from the Mass Cultural Council

Last week, the Mass Cultural Council announced the recipients of its Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grant Program. The program is part of Massachusetts’ economic recovery plan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a release, Karyn Polito, Lt. Governor of the state, said “these grants will bring relief to many of our cultural institutions …

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From Fires to Floods: Science centers, natural disasters, and Teen Science Cafés

As the ongoing pandemic is showing, STEM disciplines are vital to figuring out ways of coping with a range of disasters. There’s no better time than the present to capitalize on youth interest in increasingly common natural disasters and the technology used to address them. Science centers have been playing a significant role by connecting …

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Additional provisions in the December COVID relief and appropriations bill

ASTC is reading through the text of the almost 5,600-page omnibus spending and COVID relief bill for provisions relevant to the ASTC community. This is the third in a series of blog posts about the legislation in which we highlight other COVID relief provisions beyond changes to the Paycheck Protection Program including the opportunity for …

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Congress poised to extend Paycheck Protection Program and allow second draw

ASTC is reading through the text of the almost 5,600-page omnibus spending and COVID relief bill for provisions relevant to the ASTC community. This is the first in a series of blog posts about the legislation in which we highlight changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. Please also see another post discussing the new Grants …

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Two ASTC members earn grants from National Endowment for the Humanities

Two ASTC member institutions have received grants from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They are among 213 projects supported by $32.8 million in grants and fellowships from this independent federal agency established in 1965. Although NEH generally supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities, science-based …

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Science center visits down almost 75% from 2019, but slowly increase after reopening

Members of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) that have reopened to the public after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic have seen visitor attendance that is down 74 percent from the same time period in 2019. This is one example of the sobering information shared in a recent ASTC report detailing the …

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