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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Science centers have lost more than $600 million in revenue due to the pandemic

A new report from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) estimates that ASTC museum members around the world have lost more than $600 million in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, almost overnight, every one of the ASTC’s nearly 500 member science and technology centers and museums closed their doors to …

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ASTC 2020: Closing Keynote

As we count down to the end of the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference, we are highlighting the plenary sessions that will bring the community together. Closing Keynote “Long-term thinking amid crisis: Insights from the Optimist’s Telescope” The final session at ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference will feature Bina Venkataraman who will help us look …

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ASTC 2020: New Frontiers Keynote Session

As we count down to the start of the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference, we’ll be highlighting the plenary sessions that will bring the community together. New Frontiers Keynote Session This multi-part session will include several speakers and discussions on the way that science, communities, and policymakers work in partnership to address humanity’s most pressing challenges, while ensuring that …

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IF/THEN Ambassadors reflect on their first year

Last September, 125 women innovators across a variety of industries were named as AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Among this group of talented STEM professionals were three Ambassadors at ASTC-member museums: Olivia Castellini, Senior Exhibit Developer, Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, Illinois) …

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IMLS seeking nominations for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is now accepting nominations for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities. Since 1994, IMLS has presented the award to institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to community service. …

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Nominations open for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is seeking nominations for the 2020­–2021 cycle. The awards represent the nation’s highest honor for individuals and organizations who work with and serve those that are underrepresented in STEM education and the workforce. Individuals and organizations in all public and private sectors in …

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Institute of Museum and Library Services opens applications for six grant programs

On August 18, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issued notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for six museum grant opportunities: Museums for America Inspire! Grants for Small Museums Museums Empowered National Leadership Grants for Museums Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services ASTC members have historically …

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U.S. Department of Education FY 2020 Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase Competition

The U.S. Department of Education has released details about a new funding opportunity that may be of interest to the ASTC community: the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program’s Early-Phase Competition. As described in the Federal Register notice describing the program, The Department expects that Early-phase grants provide funding to support …

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Science Centers Step Up to Provide Childcare for Essential Workers

Even while their institutions’ doors are closed to the public, science and technology centers and museums are continuing to serve their missions and their communities. Here are two examples of ASTC members providing emergency childcare to the families of essential workers, using their expertise in engaging children in STEM and large, empty facilities. Helping the …

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