Blog

Annual Conference

Best Practices for Social Media

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 73% of online U.S. adults now use some kind of social media, and 42% use multiple social networking sites. So how can science centers and museums best harness social media to engage audiences and advance their institutional goals? On Sunday afternoon, Lauren Frieband of... Read More

Where is the Science in a Maker Space?

The debate over the value of maker spaces continued on Monday afternoon with “Where is the Science in a Maker Space?” led by Hooley McLaughlin from the Ontario Science Centre. Building off of a similarly divisive session from ASTC 2013, presenters Lisa Brahms from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Karen Wilkinson from the Exploratorium,... Read More

Real + Virtual: New Horizons for Engagement with Nature

At the Monday morning session “Real + Virtual: New Horizons for Engagement with Nature,” participants learned about ways to use both “real” hands-on natural history specimens and “virtual” digital collections with the public. Session leader Cindy Lincoln of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS), Raleigh, was joined by presenters Steve Turner, also of... Read More

Live Demo Hour—Videos

The Live Demo Hour, an ASTC Conference perennial favorite, wowed and entertained the crowd again this year with demonstrations of a range of scientific principles (who knew topology could be so much fun?) and even a stand-up science comedian. Video clips from the show can be viewed below. Thank you to all the presenters! Eddie... Read More

Science Centers Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow: An international perspective

Are science centers more efficient than schools at helping students cultivate the “soft skills”—like problem solving, critical thinking, and team building—they will need for future careers? Focus groups from 11 countries are beginning to delve into this question in an ASTC-led study. The session “Science Centers Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow: An international perspective,” held... Read More

Increasing Diversity Among Museum Audiences

There are many kinds of diversity in every community. Science centers and museums are hard at work to bring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs and activities to more diverse audiences. In Sunday’s “Increasing Diversity Among Museum Audiences” session, session leader Amanda Paige from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor,... Read More