Blog

Dimensions

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

A Custom Fit: Personalizing Experiences Using Technology

This is an extended version of an article that appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. Science center and museum professionals from around the world share their experiences using technology—including smartphones, barcodes, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags—to personalize the visitor experience. The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) opened in New York City in... Read More

Meeting All the Standards

Even the most dedicated supporter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning today would not be faulted for some level of confusion over the many educational standards for science that seem to be in various stages of development or review. There is considerable discussion lately, for example, about the new Next Generation Science Standards... Read More

Should science centers prioritize adult-oriented programs? What are the benefits and challenges of such programs?

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the May/June 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. Scitech has been running adults-only nights twice a year since 2009, the year we turned 21. We started doing these evenings as we realized that there must be an increasing number of young... Read More

Q&A with Ilan Chabay

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson This interview appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine. “It was a case of professional schizophrenia—but a very useful one,” laughs Ilan Chabay about his varied career path. He has dabbled in the natural sciences, exhibition design, museum administration, and higher education. Currently professor and senior fellow at the... Read More