With a new grantfrom the National Science Foundation, the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) is collaborating with the COSI Center for Research and Evaluation and Oregon State University’sSTEM Research Centerto build on the original 2018 framework and develop new professional learning and development tools. These tools will support those who work in the informal STEM learning field and will reflect field-wide changes in the workforce. (Learn more about the team here.)

Through 2025, the project team will develop a new set of resources and strategies that address a wide range of situations relevant to those who work in—or aim to work in—informal learning settings, such as science and technology centers and museums, natural history museums, children’s museums, zoos, aquariums, nature centers, botanical gardens, planetariums, and other types of museums and cultural organizations. These efforts will help support the informal STEM learning community toward several outcomes:

  • Individualswill be better equipped to plan professional learning, internships, coursework, and other experiences to identify and pursue opportunities for advancement.
  • Institutionswill be better prepared to clarify how job roles and teams function, shape job descriptions, prioritize staff professional development experiences, and identify when a promotion or salary adjustment may be earned or required.
  • Academic programswill be better prepared to shape coursework or internship experiences.
  • Professional organizationswill be better equipped to plan conferences and other professional learning events, such as webinars or other training programs.

Help us shape the future of our field!

We are currently looking for a diverse cadre of professionals—and aspiring professionals—to improve the framework by participating in virtual and in-person opportunities like tool development workshops, focus groups, asynchronous feedback opportunities, and more.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants 2215274 (active), 1514815, 1514884, 1514890, and 1515315. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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