Blog

Dimensions, January/February 2009—Connecting with the Community: Science Centers and Their Core Audiences

IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2009 Science centers serve a variety of core audiences, from visitors to volunteers to Internet users. But who are these audiences and what kinds of experiences are they looking for? A recent Reach Advisors–ASTC survey identified mothers of young children as one of the largest science center audiences, and men over... Read More

Museums boost science learning, new report finds

Today, the (U.S.) National Research Council (NRC) released a highly anticipated report on learning in informal settings. According to the NRC, “tens of millions of Americans, young and old, choose to learn about science in informal ways – by visiting museums and aquariums, attending after-school programs, pursuing personal hobbies, and watching TV documentaries, for example. There... Read More

Communicating Climate Change

Public understanding of climate science got an infusion of energy with the December launch of a major national collaborative designed to engage citizens of all ages directly in investigations of local indicators of climate change. Communicating Climate Change, a project of ASTC’s IGLO (International Action on Global Warming) Initiative, pairs 12 science centers with research... Read More

Saint Louis Science Center hosts first annual SciFest

On October 9–13, Saint Louis Science Center, Missouri, invited visitors to celebrate and engage in science at SciFest 08. The new annual event featured sessions and demonstrations on topics ranging from the science of chocolate and the physics of rock & roll, to climate change and the future of cancer research. Physicist Mark Lewney used... Read More

Dimensions, November/December 2008—Science Celebrations

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2008 In 2009, science centers and museums will celebrate the Year of Science, Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and the International Year of Astronomy. Every year, many institutions plan programs around global initiatives like Earth Science Week and international holidays like World Environment Day. New celebrations such as NanoDays and the Cambridge... Read More

Cooking Up Science in Cambridge

By John Durant and P.A. d’Arbeloff From ASTC Dimensions November/December 2008 Recipe: Take one science city. Carefully extract the juiciest parts, making sure to retain all the most enthusiastic graduate students, and as many superstar researchers and Nobel Laureates as you can find. Mix thoroughly with generous quantities of actors, artists, broadcasters, critics, curators, entrepreneurs,... Read More

1,800 from 31 countries attend ASTC 2008

More than 1,800 science center professionals from 31 countries gathered in Philadelphia, October 18–21, for the 2008 ASTC Annual Conference. Over 140 conference sessions challenged participants to explore their responsibility to both their scientific and public constituencies. Keynote speaker Steven Berlin Johnson, a journalist, cultural critic, and web developer, encouraged science centers to become places... Read More

Back to school

Last year, ASTC members served millions of students through school outreach programs. That work continued this morning at the ASTC Annual Conference with an off-site session, Outreach Live. Presenters from around the region brought their science centers’ best outreach programs to the Friends Select School in Philadelphia for both students and museum colleagues. A roundtable discussion followed to review and evaluate... Read More

Museums and the mind

As advances in neuroscience reveal biological pathways underlying emotion, attention, and memory, how can science centers harness this new research to create effective museum experiences? In an October 19 session at the ASTC Annual Conference, Jayatri Das, senior exhibit and program developer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, led a panel of experts in neuroscience,... Read More