Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Allons à Montréal! An #ASTC2015 Preview

Soon all roads in the International Science Center Community will be leading to the beautiful city of Montreal for the 2015 Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference. (Attendees from Science Centers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and Africa will all be in Montreal!)

I'm very excited to be presenting at the ASTC Conference in four different sessions --- each with a different session format.  So if you'll be in Montreal, please join me at any (or all!) of the sessions below:

Starting off on Saturday, October 17th from 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal - 210/220A/230, I'll be part of a poster session entitled:

"How the American Phenomenon of Children’s Museums Led to the Creation of STEAM-based MUZEIKO in Bulgaria"  With colleagues from Lee H.Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, we will explore the impact of the American phenomenon of children’s museums in the creation of MUZEIKO, a new science-focused museum for children that just opened on September 30th, 2015 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.  Come see lots of cool images and discuss the STEAM-based ideas that drove the development of this truly wonderful museum.  (Plus we'll be giving away one-of-a-kind Bulgarian collectible swag to anyone who stops by!)

Interior view of MUZEIKO

Later, on Saturday, October 17th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Room 512D/H, I'll be part of a rollicking participatory session called:

"Mirror: Mirror—Community-Reflected Exhibition Development" along with Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego and Alexandra Kuechenberg from the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, we'll dig into the notion that the success of a Science Center is partially rooted in how well it reflects the community that hosts it.  Exhibitions, at their heart, have the potential to be a great example of community-reflected development, and we'll work with the audience to explore this topic through a number of participatory experiences.

One of the tools we've produced in advance of this session is "A Science Atlas of Montreal" (which you can download here.) You can use the Science Atlas in and around Montreal whether you attend our Mirror:Mirror session or not.  (Although did I mention that my fellow presenters will be dressed up as Snow White and The Evil Queen, with me presenting as the Magic Mirror?)

A Science Atlas of Montreal

Shifting over to Sunday, October 18th from 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Room 512 D/H, I'll be moderating the Exhibits & Education "Flash Sessions" which are quick 10 minute bursts of information on topics ranging from learning about science through toys in Thailand to how the communication of sexual health has evolved over more than 20 years at Universum in Mexico.  You won't want to miss this fast-paced and diverse session!

A selection of Toys that teach Science from Thailand

Last, but not least, one of the most important topics for the current Science Center field will be discussed on Sunday, October 18th from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Room 510B/D in a session called,  "Are Maker Spaces Killing the Traditional Science Center? Is That a Bad Thing?"    

I'll be joined by Hooley McLaughlin from the Ontario Science Centre;  Lisa Brahms from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; and Karen Wilkinson, from the Exploratorium to debate amongst ourselves and the audience meaty topics including whether process-oriented Maker Spaces do a better job of stimulating interest and curiosity than other Science Center offerings.  I am especially excited to be sharing the dais in this session with such deep-thinking and distinguished colleagues.

In the New York Hall of Science's Maker Space
If you can't experience the ASTC Conference in person,  I'll be using Social Media to transmit live updates and images from Montreal, so you can also follow my posts on Twitter (@museum_exhibits) and Facebook.  

But if you are in Montreal for the ASTC Conference, and you'd like to catch up for a drink or to chat about working together with POW! on future projects, please email me so we can coordinate calendars!

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