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Telling Your Story: What the Informal Science Education Industry Has to Offer COSEE. Alan J. Friedman Consultant Museum Development & Science Communication. Scientists have been seeking to achieve engagement with the public for centuries, and formal education has not been their only means.
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Telling Your Story:What the Informal Science Education IndustryHas to Offer COSEE Alan J. Friedman Consultant Museum Development & Science Communication
Scientists have been seeking to achieve engagement with the public for centuries, and formal education has not been their only means
Informal Science Education • Learning during the 95% of our lives which we spend outside the formal education system • Also called “free choice learning,” because learners set their own agenda • Includes aquariums, museums, zoos, botanic gardens, and visitor centers, plus television, magazines, books, libraries, the Internet • 61% of all adults visit an ISE institution at least once a year
Sciencebuddies.org • Hundreds of inquiry science fair projects, way beyond that model volcano; career advice and more
Science Museums are the Fastest Growing Sector of the Museum World • Several new “hands-on” science museums open each year • 350 now in USA alone • $1+ billion per year total budgets • 177 million visits per year in USA • about 60 million visitors on school field trips
Science-Technology Centers Share a Lot, Yet Each is Different from the Others tryscience.org • Find just about every science museum on the planet; dozens of vetted activities from science museums for use on or off-line; in 9 languages
CW from top left: Vancouver BC, Paris FR, Duxford UK, Richmond VA, Indianapolis, IN
Citizenscience.org • Individuals, families, students do data collection and analysis for real science research
Nobelprize.org • Exquisite simulation activities of real experiments, inspiring stories, and more
pbskids.org/designsquad/ • The TV show is cool, but even better are teens doing engineering for delight at school or at home
Sciencefriday.com • Millions listen, but even more get it through the Web, Podcasts, Blogs, Tweets ….
27,500 Inservice Teachers Take In-Depth Training in Science Museums Each Year • Museum staff know both content and pedagogy • They are used to paying attention to learners • Hard evidence that teacher’s exposure to real research improves their student’s test scores • Roles for COSEE
Apprenticeships for Students and Pre-Service Teachers Are Increasingly Popular • Exposure to real phenomena, scientists, technologies—COSEE organizations can offer real research experiences • Culture of inquiry, love of science and technology • Good balance of intensity, evaluation, and enjoyment, well suited to most youth
COSEE Projects can choose to work with both formal and informal education but the differences are significant • For schools the drivers are standards, curricula, and assessments. COSEE projects need to discover where their stories do or do not fit with these constraints. • Informal learning organizations have broader missions and fewer external constraints. However, their economic drivers are very different from those of formal education, and so are their domains of greatest impact.
The Informal Learning Realm is Well Organized—Sector by Sector. See the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education at www.insci.org, then: • www.astc.orgfor science centers & museums • www.ips-planetarium.orgfor planetariums • www.aza.orgfor zoos and aquariums • www.publicgardens.orgfor botanical gardens and arboreta • www.cpb.org/aboutpbfor public radio and TV • www.scienceafterschool.orgfor afterschool providers • www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/4-h-science-programs/ for community science programs nationwide • www.informalscience.orgfor research and evaluation of informal science • www.exhibitfiles.org for science exhibitions • www.pacsci.org/portal for helping scientists communicate with the public
Inquiry Group on Informal Science Educationestablished by COSEE-OCEAN • Paul Boyle, Association of Zoos and Aquariums • Vince Breslin, Southern Connecticut State University • Johnny Frasier, Institute for Learning Innovation (formerly with the Wildlife Conservation Society) • Alan Friedman, New York Hall of Science/Consultant • Katie Gardner, Liberty Science Center • Sara Schoedinger, NOAA • Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific • Steve Uzzo, New York Hall of Science • Steve Yalowitz, Institute for Learning Innovation (formerly with the Monteray Bay Aquarium)
Four Useful Recent References • “The 95 Percent Solution,” Falk, J.H. and Dierking, L. D., American Scientist (2010), v. 98, pp. 486-493. A manifesto declaring the importance, even the necessity, of informal science education. • “Executive Summary,”Learning Science in Informal Environments http://books.nap.edu/catalog/12190.html. The NRC’s 2009 big synthesis study. • “A Special Report on Informal Science Education,” Education Week 2011. http://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/sciencereport-2011/index.html?r=1427089755. Up to date summary of the entire field. • Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Projects, A. Friedman, ed. http://insci.org/docs/Eval_Framework.pdf. 2008 NSF report on evaluating effectiveness of ISE activities
Alan J. Friedman, Consultant Museum Development and Science Communication www.friedmanconsults.com email@example.com