When are evaluation and other visitor feedback strategies the most useful for helping advance a science center’s mission? When are such strategies less successful?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the September/October 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. Evaluation is a powerful tool for providing visitors with a voice, which then enables us to stay relevant to their needs and motivations. The goal of any exhibit or program is to engage... Read More

Q&A with Chevy Humphrey

 Interviewed by Joelle Seligson This interview appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. How can a child follow the paths of a musically inclined mother and a science-oriented father? Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO of the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, managed to do both. She worked with the Houston and Phoenix symphonies... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2013—Developing the Science Center Workforce

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2013 This issue of Dimensions looks at the science center and museum workforce and professional development through a broad lens. What are effective ways to hone the skills and expertise of individual staff members, build capacity and cohesion across an institution, and professionalize our broader field? How we can we recruit... Read More

Recruiting for Inclusion and Innovation

By Laura Huerta Migus From Dimensions July/August 2013 “It is diversity that drives innovation: a diversity of perspectives, of industries, of cultures. When we bring together these different perspectives, we have a far better chance of breaking new ground.” —Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect Over the past two decades, the United States and... Read More

Science Center and Zoos: Creating Public Value Through Complementary Strengths

By John Fraser, Martin Weiss, Beverly Sheppard, and Kate Flinner From Dimensions July/August 2013 Educators at science centers, zoos, and other informal science education institutions (ISE) work in distinct traditions. Yet, funders often lump them into a single class of ISE environments. Even science centers and zoos themselves may imagine that they compete for funds... Read More

What “Sustains” Us

Science centers and museums the world over are successful through the combined efforts of capable staff, dedicated board members, committed volunteers, supportive community leaders, and a widely diverse collection of suppliers whose products and services help us bring exciting and educational programming to our visitors. ASTC refers to these suppliers—including individuals, corporations, and public agencies—as... Read More

Q&A with Alejandro Frank

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson This interview appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. Alejandro Frank had been a nuclear physicist for around 25 years when, as he explains it, he “turned toward the children.” Eight years ago, Frank, professor of physics at the Nuclear Science Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico... Read More

Dimensions, May/June 2013—Personalizing the Visitor Experience

IN THIS ISSUE May/June 2013 Free-choice learning is the hallmark of science centers and interactive museums. But many institutions are taking this idea a step further by exploring strategies for personalizing the visitor experience—before, during, or after the visit. Some approaches are high tech, like compiling a visitor’s on-site experiences onto a personalized webpage. Others... Read More

21-Tech: Engaging Museum Visitors Using Mobile Technologies

By Keith Ostfeld From Dimensions May/June 2013 Society has reached a point where everyone desires customized services and products—from coffee to computers to museum experiences—that meet their needs, expectations, and aesthetics. With today’s easy access to phenomenal computational power through personal mobile technologies (PMTs) like smartphones and tablets, we have new avenues to customize museum... Read More