Later this week many from the American Museum of Natural History will be trekking from NYC to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the annual ASTC (aka Association of Science-Technology Centers) conference, bringing together over 2,000 (as they like to say to their advertisers) “leaders and decision makers” from science centers and museums, nature centers, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and natural history and children’s museums. As this is my first trip to a museum-specific conference, I can’t wait.
This post, which will be updated over the course of the conference, is designed to let you know where you can find us. And when I say “us” I REALLY mean the Education department within the Museum, as there are other department as well that will be in attendance (and we are so big I am not even sure how many). And when I say “Education” what I REALLY mean is the Youth Initiatives group (YI), which is responsible for all out of school workshops, courses, camps, and internships for children and youth from pre-K through college.
Representing YI, I hope you have the opportunity to meet some of my amazing colleagues: [note: the presentations listed below are with so many amazing organizations and individuals – click on the title to reveal who they are and to learn more about the topics]
Preeti Gupta, Director of Youth Learning and Research, is the fearless leader of YI. You will be able to hear Preeti present twice:
Sunday, 2 p.m. – Bridging The Formal and Informal: Science Museums as Learning Labs for Pre-service Teachers (link) which asks the question, How can museums serve as learning laboratories for pre-service teachers?
Monday at 9:45 – Science Centers and Girls’ Long- Term STEM Engagement and Career Choices (link), which will engage participants in a learning discussion around the role of science centers in girls’ and young women’s long-term participation in STEM.
Nathan Bellomy, Interim Manager, Adventures in Science, will be presenting the following:
Monday at 9:45- Hitchhiking To Pluto: Youth-Designed Planetarium Shows (link), in which three science centers discuss the rewards and challenges of programs that teach youth to use planetarium software to design and present original space shows.
Next, we have Danny Zeiger, Discovery Room Program Manager. Danny will make it harder for you to find him, as he is not scheduled to appear at any particular location at any particular time. That will make it even MORE satisfying for you if and when you DO find him (and, when you do, make sure to give yourself a pat on the back).
Finally, we have me, Barry Joseph, Associate Director for Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives. I will be taking part in two presentations:
Saturday, 1 p.m. – Gaming in museums to engage audiences (link) in which many many people will rapidly talk about how science centers and museums are taking advantage of games to support learning around the country.
Sunday, 9:45 – How to Build a Digital Learning and Innovation Practice (link) will explore how AMNH in New York and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco have tackled the challenge of successfully launching youth-based digital learning programs while expanding a culture of innovation by employing two different organizational models.
Finally, as if that’s not enough for you, we will hold an informal MEET & GREET on Sunday, from 4:30 – 5:30 at the AMNH booth in the exhibit hall. Find us at Booth 916 (please use this map to locate us). You can also post questions to us in the comment box below if you’d like to connect with us about anything else.
We look forward to meeting you in New Mexico!