Dimensions, March/April 2004—Visitor-Centered Spaces: How Physical Context Affects Experience

IN THIS ISSUE March/April 2004 That physical surroundings have a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being is not a new insight. Nor is it innovative to apply that insight to the organization of museum spaces. In his 1987 Museum Visitor Evaluation: New Tool for Management, Ross J. Loomis counseled managers to pay close... Read More

Dimensions, January/February 2004—Science Centers as Schools: Extending the Mission

IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2004 This journal often looks at ways that science centers serve schools or foster relationships between museum educators and classroom teachers. But some ASTC members take it a step further. They bring school into the museum, setting up classrooms, opening their collections, collaborating in curriculum design—turning curiosity and exploration into a... Read More

Dimensions, November/December 2003—Environmental Awareness: What Can Science Centers Do?

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2003 In a 2004 report, Complex Environmental Systems: Synthesis for Earth, Life, and Society in the 21st Century, the National Science Foundation identifies understanding of the relationships among people, ecosystems, and the biosphere as key to meeting environmental challenges. We cannot begin to solve problems like climate change, degradation of freshwater... Read More

Dimensions, July/August 2003—Lifelong Learners: Reaching Adult Audiences

IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2003 Are science centers just for kids? If that’s the perception our visitors have, we may be missing out on an important audience: adult learners. With populations in many countries aging as well as diversifying, and with funders increasingly emphasizing “lifelong learning” in their grant criteria, the opportunity is obvious. In... Read More

Dimensions, March/April 2003—Sun, Wind, & Water: The Promise of Science Parks

IN THIS ISSUE March/April 2003 What began in India as a “curtain raiser” for a new science center has taken on a life of its own. Around the world, ASTC members are discovering the attractions of science parks—those carefully designed outdoor exhibit areas that combine whole-body play with informal science learning. What makes them so... Read More

Dimensions, January/February 2003—Focus on the Front Line: The Role of Floor Staff in Science Museums

IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2003 Whatever we call them—explainers, guides, interpreters, facilitators, hosts—floor staff are the front line of our institutions, key mediators between the science center’s intention and the visitor’s experience. A sometimes under-valued resource, they may be full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer, trained in science or in communication. In this issue, we... Read More

Dimensions, November/December 2002—Connecting Teachers and Science

IN THIS ISSUE November/December 2002 At most science centers, professional development for teachers is a key part of education programs. In a 2001 ASTC survey, 84 percent of U.S. members reported offering teacher workshops; for members in other countries, the figure was 76 percent. What is increasingly common, however, in this era of educational reform... Read More

Dimensions, September/October 2002—Building Technology Literacy

IN THIS ISSUE September/October 2002 Have science-technology centers been emphasizing one half of their mandate at the expense of the other? The 2002 publication of Technology Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology, a report from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, is challenging museums to measure their... Read More