With appreciation for CAISE and its many contributions

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) has been proud to serve as the host for the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) for the past 15 years. Since it was established in 2007, CAISE has provided essential resources and support to the informal science learning community. Operating under a cooperative agreement …

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Calling all makers! New resources for children and families available

By engaging in engineering design activities, children have the opportunity to bring together scientific and mathematical concepts to solve real world problems. However, sustaining children’s interest in engineering can be a challenge. Some students lack opportunities to learn about engineering in the first place; a 2010 report found that only 10% of K-12 students were …

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IMLS awards ASTC members more than $7 million in Museums for America program

The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced the recipients of nearly $30 million in its largest competitive grants program, Museums for America, and its two special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. Included are 42 ASTC-member institutions who have received 45 awards for a total of more than $7.3 million.

IMLS awards 2021 National Leadership Grants for Museums

Five ASTC members will receive more than $2.1 million from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, among the 17 organizations receiving fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Leadership Grants for Museums. In total, 15 projects were selected from 74 applications to share almost $6.4 million in Federal grants, which are supplemented by more than …

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Report breaks new ground with insights on gender representation in science museum content

In 2019, the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the IF/THEN® Initiative partnered to launch an ambitious data collection project designed to help museums across the United States not only see where they are when it comes to equitable gender representation in exhibits and other museum content, but where they could go. After …

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DJ Patil on the impact of science and technology centers and museums

Science centers are transformative. That’s the message that Dr. DJ Patil, former U.S. Chief Data Scientist, emphasized during his remarks at ASTC’s Senior Leaders Summit earlier this week. The summit gathered chief executives, board members, and other senior leaders of ASTC-member science centers and museums to discuss approaches to recovery from the impacts of the …

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Smithsonian-led Vaccines & US Initiative launches

Earlier today, a new Smithsonian-led nationwide initiative was launched to activate museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions in supporting efforts to provide Americans with accessible and trustworthy resources related to COVID-19 vaccination: “Vaccines & US: Cultural Organizations for Community Health.” The new VaccinesAndUS.org website includes free resources that cultural organizations can use to help their …

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Children’s COVID-19 questions, worries, and information needs: Insights for the ISE field from research with families

This post was contributed by Evelyn Christian Ronning, Amy Grack Nelson, Marjorie Bequette, and Choua Her of the Science Museum of Minnesota. During the COVID-19 pandemic, up-to-date and accurate information is key—and kid-friendly information is often hard to come by. Knowledge and communication within families can help kids feel more secure and less worried about …

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ASTC 2020: Closing Keynote

As we count down to the end of the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference, we are highlighting the plenary sessions that will bring the community together. Closing Keynote “Long-term thinking amid crisis: Insights from the Optimist’s Telescope” The final session at ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference will feature Bina Venkataraman who will help us look …

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Institute of Museum and Library Services opens applications for six grant programs

On August 18, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issued notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for six museum grant opportunities: Museums for America Inspire! Grants for Small Museums Museums Empowered National Leadership Grants for Museums Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services ASTC members have historically …

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U.S. Department of Education FY 2020 Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase Competition

The U.S. Department of Education has released details about a new funding opportunity that may be of interest to the ASTC community: the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program’s Early-Phase Competition. As described in the Federal Register notice describing the program, The Department expects that Early-phase grants provide funding to support …

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New free webinar series helps museums take diversity and inclusion efforts from intention to action

This post was produced in collaboration with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and crossposted on the ACM blog.  Museums across the country are navigating a critical moment: the urgent need to challenge systemic racism in our communities and institutions alongside the interconnected effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic stress. To effectively respond to …

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Museum Practitioners Publish Open-Access Scholarship at the Intersection of Personal Identity and Museum Practice

Twelve museum professionals from across the United States took part in a new professional development program—the Writing Scholars Workshop—that seeks to elevate the voices of a new generation of museum workers, and advance the museum field’s dialogue around critical topics and practices.  Developed and led by Curator: The Museum Journal and Knology, a nonprofit social science think tank, …

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Discussion Series: Rebuilding and Engaging Your Team in a COVID-19 World

With many science center and museum staff working in new ways, redeployed, and furloughed, how are you supporting their needs? How are they learning and coping with new roles? How will these extraordinary times shape your future workforce? Please join Dennis Schatz (Institute for Learning Innovation), Andy Aichele (COSI), Lesley Markham (ASTC) for a series …

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