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The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) will partner with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to establish the ASTC VISTA Volunteer Community STEM Initiative. The program is designed to strengthen local networks of community-based STEM programs and to offer new youth development activities specifically targeted at inspiring a future STEM workforce. AmeriCorps VISTA members will be placed in strategically selected science centers and museums to serve as coordinators and facilitators of these community-based activities. The seven science centers and museums involved in the project are Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland, CA; Discovery Cube, Los Angeles, CA; Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA; Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA; California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA; New York Hall of Science, Queen, NY; and Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI.
Natural History museums have identified a need to transform their traditional spaces into vital forces for science education. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) will implement “Seeing as a Scientist,” a design-based research initiative to develop and test gallery interventions that have the potential to increase scientific observation skills for family groups. Working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE), CMNH will pilot a series of quick changes and additions to dioramas and outline expectations for each. Visitors will be observed to measure the degree of engagement in scientific observation (deliberate looking in order to understand visual evidence)--an essential skill for learning across scientific disciplines. The four most promising interventions will be evaluated to determine which are most successful in providing the necessary support for families to establish shared focus and two-way, science-based conversation. The project will include a blog to share information and to disseminate the results to other museums.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) will test the effectiveness of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology in tracking visitors carrying smartphone devices as they move throughout the museum. This anonymous data will enable them to see where a person is located in the gallery, how they move around, and how often they return to the museum. The museum will also provide visitors with location-based collection content, accessible via smartphone, based on their location within the galleries. To accomplish this, IMA staff will develop software for collecting and analyzing visitor data and will enhance TAP, an open-source tool for building mobile tours, to provide location-based content. With such data, museums of all types will have the ability to better understand their visitors and provide more personalized and engaging experiences for their audiences.
The UC Davis Arboretum will address the challenge of effectively managing increasingly complex museum projects that involve multiple teams, communities and outside partners through a project to rapidly prototype, test, and evaluate the use of low-cost cloud-based collaborative tools that can help museum staff reduce the stress of managing their inboxes while improving efficiency and effectiveness. Museums across the U.S. are in the midst of transforming their institutions to support 21st century skills, yet their own back of house operations often rely on outdated technical tools; many museums still use email as the primary tool for managing tasks, collaborating on documents, making and tracking group decisions, coordinating schedules, communicating ideas and idea development, and for overall project management. Although individual museums will need to devise their own strategic approach to collaborating online, UC Davis will produce a roadmap and white paper as a valuable resource to guide the museum field along the first steps toward replacing emails with online collaborative workspaces.
The Evansville African American Museum will partner with university, library, and non-profit community service organizations to make its museum exhibits and programming more accessible and engaging for diverse audiences by focusing on community engagement and outreach efforts. The museum will develop four exhibits and five traveling trunk exhibits for schools and community groups. Project activities will include staff and volunteer professional development in the areas of diversity and inclusion best practices, leadership skills, and museum operations. Staff will create policies and written procedures for program planning and development, audience development and tracking, communications, resource development, and evaluation tools and assessment procedures. Staff and volunteers will benefit from professional development and training, and the general public will benefit from increased access to museum resources and the museum’s further development as a community anchor for the city of Evansville, Indiana.
The Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) will undertake a two-year project to develop a traveling exhibit and public programs to illuminate cultural traditions of giving in African American communities and the history of black philanthropy through artful photography and insightful first-person narratives. The library staff at JCSU will begin working with key local partners to design, curate and fabricate the exhibition as well as create collateral educational and marketing materials in print and online. The exhibition’s touring schedule at college campuses and cultural museums and institutions, primarily throughout the South, will include robust community programming during each four to six week exhibition period.
The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) will hire a curator of exhibitions and public programs who will build on NAAM’s strong track record of presenting high-quality exhibitions. Over the course of two years, the new curator of exhibitions and public programs will work with the executive director and an arts consultant to develop a three-year exhibition and program plan. This plan will be used to manage, evaluate, and develop the museum’s programs and will align with NAAM’s mission and long-term institutional strategic planning efforts. The curator will also receive leadership training from the consultant and work to increase the museum’s profile within the community, regionally, and nationally though development of public programming initiatives, civic and community partnerships, professional development, and networking.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indian’s John Hair Museum will build the capacity of staff in museum operations and improve the management of the tribal archive. Staff will participate in professional development opportunities to increase their understanding of museum procedures and operations, and a consultant will be hired to assist staff members in establishing policies and procedures for the archives including care, handling, storage and exhibition of materials. Grant funds will be used to purchase storage equipment and implement an archival monitoring program to ensure long-term preservation and access to Keetoowah tribal history.
The Strong will complete fabrication and installation of Miniature Worlds, a 2,500-square-foot thematic zone within its new "America at Play" exhibit, the first-ever historical exhibit overview of play in the United States. The Miniature Worlds zone will be enhanced by a range of school lessons for children in pre-K to grade 8, and hundreds of images of the featured artifacts will be added to the museum's online collection of nearly 50,000 artifacts. The installation of the Miniature Worlds zone will give the public a chance to interact with one of the largest diversified collections of miniature settings for pretend and to learn more about how the artifacts relate to American social and cultural history.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will complete one phase of a larger project to create a Photography Interpretive Gallery within its new Photography Center. The museum will create content, develop software, install hardware, and evaluate visitor experience of the gallery. The gallery will offer visitors opportunities for engaged participation, increase accessibility of photography, and will use digital interfaces to provide new ways for visitors to learn about photography. By interacting with the gallery, visitors will be able to better understand how and why certain photographs have been made and how such images become imbued with meaning by makers and viewers alike.
The Memorial Hall Museum will create "Impressions from a Lost World," an array of programs to engage regional, national, and tourist audiences in learning about the history of the 1835 dinosaur track discoveries along the Connecticut River Valley. The museum will prototype, pilot, and finalize maps, museum programs, and educational materials for activities such as the hands-on traveling Jurassic Roadshow presentations and self-guided tours of the museum. These programs will aid in the development and launching of a large-scale website for sustained in-depth learning beyond the programming opportunity. "Impressions of a Lost World" will help to enhance tourism, local community pride, and awareness of the region's dinosaur track discovery–including its history, importance, the contributions that everyday people made.
The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum will grow its existing partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center to enhance school readiness among low-income and underserved children ages 3-5. Through this project, young children from five early childhood education centers in Poughkeepsie, NY, will participate in monthly field trip programs at the museum and linked programs in their education centers to help develop successful transition into elementary school; family workshops will engage parents; and professional development sessions for early educators will provide instruction on how to strengthen links among parents, educators, and museum professionals. The project will benefit the community as the museum shifts into the role of community convener of organizations that promote school readiness, greater academic achievement, and success of youth.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will plan and design a new, audience-driven experience in the center's main exhibit, the 1871 Harriet Beecher Stowe House, to create a forum for learning and conversation. This project will encourage 21st century civic engagement by inspiring audiences to learn from the past and take action on issues that matter to them today. The traditional guided tour will be replaced with an engaging experience in a combination of period rooms and non-period gallery-style rooms to provide visitors an experience that is memorable, authentic, and offers opportunities for self-exploration. Connecting the past to the present, the exhibit will serve as a safe place for discussing difficult subjects and for learning more about the issues that were relevant to Stowe and the issues that still persist today.
Science Museum of Minnesota will create three live theater productions highlighting current laboratory and field research studies of science issues with strong topical relevance to families with school-age children, school groups, and adult lifelong learners. Shows will align with the appropriate grade levels of the Minnesota Science Education Standards in three age levels: early elementary (grades 1–3), upper elementary and middle school (grades 4–8), and high school students and adult learners. The shows will be performed in daily rotation at the museum to entertain, inform, and challenge visitors to reflect on current science issues. Theater staff will disseminate the shows through various national conferences, websites, and professional associations, enabling colleagues nationwide to download the scripts free of charge and present topical science issues at their own museums.
Mississippi Children's Museum will complete the creation of the Literacy Garden, an outdoor gallery that will promote early learning and development for underserved children in the first seven years of life. The museum will develop a visitor-targeted messaging platform, improve formal exhibits and implement public programs to help children develop critical language and literacy skills, social/emotional skills, and physical skills. The Literacy Garden will offer early childhood learning resources, early literacy and language development intervention, access to outdoor play, and the promotion of caregivers and children as collaborative learners.
The Missouri Botanical Garden will work with six urban schools, to create new educational opportunities for teachers and students who use the garden's institutional research as a foundation for STEM Programming (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Students in the program will focus on one of three core garden research themes: medicinal uses of plants, plants as a food source, or the ecological value of plants. Anchored by multiple field experiences at the garden and its satellite sites, follow up programming, and teacher professional development, the program will be aligned with state standards to address concerns with student proficiency in the STEM disciplines.
Sciencenter will develop and deliver "Science from the Start," a program to empower parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators to integrate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) into everyday activities for preschool children. Using workshops to help parents, caregivers, and educators engage children in science discovery, the museum will provide support, training, and inquiry-based activities to increase their comfort and knowledge of methods to encourage their children's STEM learning. "Science from the Start" will increase the museum's capacity in early childhood education and disseminate results to science and technology centers to promote a deeper understanding of the importance of early childhood education as the foundation for lifelong learning.
The Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University will create a new field trip program for schoolchildren in kindergarten through twelfth grade to keep museum education and informal learning experiences at the forefront of standards-based education for Montana's schools. The project will increase the museum's capacity to reach more students each year, create guides for teachers and students, and increase the number of Montana State University student-led field trip programs. Results of this research will be shared with other informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs statewide to increase the quality and relevance of all informal education experiences available to Montana schoolchildren.
Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation will create "Transformation through Dialogue," an innovative theater program that will work to answer critical questions about how and why visitors actively participate in museum experiences and what museums can do to encourage these engaging opportunities. The foundation will design and develop four pilot programs that will combine theater and dialogue techniques tailored to four target audiences—school children, families, older adults, and African Americans—and develop a dialogue component for the program based on best practices in interpretation, educational theory, and counseling. This pilot theater program will allow the 19th-century dilemmas presented in the exhibition to set the stage for visitors as they consider historical questions and their contemporary equivalents in open-ended dialogue. It will also contribute new data to national and international conversations about how museum visitors engage in personal meaning-making.
Monterey Bay Aquarium will provide to 130 middle school teachers its yearlong Project-Based Science Institute professional development program covering strategies for implementing ocean science and conservation project-based science in the classroom. The program includes two levels: Level I Institute will introduce teachers to the concepts, strategies, and examples of how to implement project-based science in the classroom. Level II Institute will provide additional support through one-on-one coaching, collaborative problem-solving and a focus on longer-term, student-run projects including data collection and analysis. By implementing these strategies, teachers will have the tools to positively impact student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning outcomes and expose children to interesting, real-world science experiences.
New York Transit Museum will develop and implement the "Bringing Back the City: Transportation First Responders" exhibition to show how New York City recovered following four recent crises: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the blackout of 2003, Hurricane Irene in 2011, and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The exhibit will use interactive technology and multimedia displays to allow audiences to see and hear transit workers' stories describing their jobs during those four historic events, accompanied by transit equipment and samples of the specialized tools workers used to restore transportation services. This project will demonstrate to visitors how past disasters can inform future disaster response, how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is fundamental in transit jobs, and the critical role transit workers play in a city's recovery from disaster.
Wilkerson Center for Colorado River Education will create "Texas Colorado River Mobile Learning Experience," a mobile learning exhibition that will teach middle school audiences about the Colorado River watershed and human interaction with water sources. The mobile interactive water science center and accompanying curriculum will build core science knowledge and skills relative to watersheds, and provide youth a complementary, interpretive educational experience. Through the exhibit, the center aims to increase participants' water-conserving behaviors, decrease water use, and decrease behaviors leading to negative impact on water quality.
The Clay Center for Arts and Sciences of West Virginia will create professional learning communities of teachers and after-school staff serving 7th grade students at seven partner schools using digital storytelling as a tool to explore energy-related topics impacting their communities. West Virginia's role as a leading coal producer and the impact of natural gas drilling served as strong influencing factors in the creation of this STEAM project, titled emPOWERed Stories. Students will create an exhibit that incorporates these digital stories. The results will inform the broader field on ways to better blend formal and informal education experiences to become more potent learning environments.
Muncie Children's Museum will fabricate and install "Discovery Park," a permanent, inquiry-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning exhibit focused on animals, habitats, and weather to support children's natural curiosity and enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills. The exhibit will augment school curriculum to expose children aged four through ten to 21st century educational elements of STEM, including observation, reasoning with numbers, evaluating evidence, and coming to conclusions. The project will support local community efforts to increase both early educational and STEM learning opportunities to help better prepare children for success in the ever-increasing global marketplace.
Philipsburg Manor will design and execute “Traders and Raiders,” a three-pronged project employing the latest gaming and digital learning methodologies to teach end users about transatlantic trade, piracy, and how Philipsburg Manor, a National Historic Landmark site in Sleepy Hollow, NY, played a role in this vast and complex system. Developers will create free digital experiences including a free learning game for children ages 8-12, a mobile treasure hunt for children ages 4-7 to enhance the onsite experience at Philipsburg Manor, and detailed webpages for adults. The project will engage visitors in interactive and self-directed learning to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of history.
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute will make 3,000 images of permanent collection artworks available online as an educational resource for the widest possible audience. The institute will create 2,000 new digital images of artworks to supplement approximately 1,000 existing high-quality digital images, install and integrate the industry standard eMuseum System with its website, and author didactic texts for object records that will provide context, interpretation, relationship to other artworks, and historical data. This project will enhance the collection's usage as a teaching tool by expanding accessibility of major works and nationally significant objects to educators, researchers, and the general public.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), in collaboration with the Tampa Community Development Corporation (CDC), will create a youth STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) program designed by East Tampa neighborhood participants for the neighborhood. The STEAM program will be a first of its kind in the area and will bring a continuum of experiences in STEAM fields to underserved middle and high school students, as well as volunteer participants, who come from the East Tampa neighborhood. Initial programming topics for career exploration include astronomy/cosmology and space exploration, environmental sciences, engineering, robotics, crime scene forensics, and medical explorations. The project will expand the museum's ability to create a STEAM continuum, increase interest in STEAM careers, and to increase awareness of skills necessary to be successful in STEAM careers.
The Lawrence Hall of Science will implement the "Mobile Inventor's Lab," a project to extend the benefits of an ongoing outreach program into a model that can serve visitors at a variety of locations in communities underserved by local science education organizations. The museum will refine its engineering design experiences to be easily reconfigured and delivered in a variety of locations, and develop activities and kits for library and community partner staff. This project will expand the impact of the hall's educational resources and offer audiences the opportunity to interact with and learn about engineering design experiences in their own communities.
An exhibition team at the Levine Museum of the New South will begin a one-year planning process for a new museum exhibit about the children's book "Tobe: A-Six-Year-Old Farmer," a story published in 1939 that was one of the first children's books to feature realistic depictions of everyday African Americans. The planning process will enable a team to develop the concept plan and schematic design of the exhibit, illustrating the stories of the individuals pictured in the book, with a focus on race and social change. The exhibition will represent an innovative approach to storytelling in the gallery, a springboard for community-engaged programming, and an opportunity to offer visitors new ways to understand history and their place within it.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will implement School and Community Partnership, a new program designed to unite PAFA's resources for schools, families, and community outreach into a single, multilayered initiative. PAFA will partner with two consistently underserved Hispanic neighborhoods in Philadelphia -where there is significant existing interest in exploring the role of art in education, family life, and community development - to bring field trips, art-making programs, teacher and parenting workshops, and community-based arts experiences to all members of the community. Through arts education and increased student, family, and community interest in arts and museum activities, the program will improve student visual literacy and 21st century skills, as well as help PAFA integrate and enhance its community offerings and strengthen its role as a leading art education resource in Philadelphia.
Mystic Seaport Museum will develop an introductory video and projection globe—two critical multimedia pieces for its upcoming "Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers" exhibit that will explore America's historic and contemporary relationship with whales and whaling. The exhibit will help visitors and staff expand the conversation beyond condemning past whaling practices to understanding the forces that drove the industry, how perceptions about whales changed over time, and how human actions continue to impact whales. This project will help the museum raise public awareness about the role the whaling industry played in the development of the nation's multiethnic make-up, domestic economy, global impact and encounters, and further promote thought about the nation's whaling heritage, and how it continues to shape communities and culture.
The Queens Museum of Art will launch a new initative entitled PAVE, the Parent Ambassadors in Visitor Experience Program, that will build and extend the museum's existing strengths and community ties to better serve families and children. Working with a group of diverse, local parent leaders, museum staff will show how the museum can be used to advance children's academic success through evidence-based practices in early learning and parent education. Participating parents advise the newly launched Visitor Experience program to help the museum provide more educational and engaging experience for families with young children. The museum's program will promote the academic success of children and provide a civic space that catalyzes parent power and activism, especially for low-income or immigrant communities.
Armory Center for the Arts will develop, deliver, and evaluate "Artful Connections with Science," an innovative new visual arts-science integrated curriculum for the fourth and fifth grade levels in the Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. "Artful Connections with Science" will provide support to the education community at a critical juncture as California adopts the Next Generation Science Standards. It will also enable the center to build organizational capacity for the delivery of arts-integration curriculum in multiple districts, thus increasing sustainability and helping to improve lives through the power of art.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) will develop an online design learning lab for students and educators. The learning lab will be built on CAF's award-winning digital learning platform, DiscoverDesign.org, and help beginner students learn skills in design thinking, innovation, critical thinking, technical skills, and hands-on problem solving. CAF will create interactive content to engage students, while widening its network of teachers with new educator tools. This project will scale CAF's learning resources to reach a broader and more diverse youth audience, and support this audience as they develop interests in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) fields, 21st century skills, and design-related career pathways.
Wagner Free Institute of Science will develop, prototype, and produce new interpretive tools to enhance visitor learning experiences and deepen visitor engagement with the museum's rich history, unique collections, and Victorian-era exhibit gallery of natural history specimens. Interpretive tools will include a site guide; a map of the natural history installation, which will contextualize the exhibit and provide a bridge to contemporary science; specimen stories to drill deeper into the collection; and interpretation-infused admission protocols. In creating these approaches, the Wagner will directly involve college students and young adult visitors through an iterative process of prototype testing and refinement. The initiative will result in new ways for visitors to experience the museum; make connections between science and history; and foster learning through self-directed discovery.
Art in General will organize and implement a signature educational initiative in the form of a large-scale, annual public symposium. The goal is to engage a wide range of audiences with contemporary art using the museum's core commissioning exhibition program as a springboard for exploring current trends and topics impacting artistic and curatorial practice today. The "What Now?" symposium will generate significant educational content including live streaming of the conference, podcasts of conference presentations, interviews with key contributors to the conference, and a publication featuring critical writing and original new content on contemporary art and ideas relevant today. The results of the symposium will be shared with the public, curators, writers, and scholars for use as a learning tool for both international and local audiences focusing on artistic practice, arts administration, and curatorial training.
The El Paso Museum of Art will expand its museum school and library programming to preschoolers, ages 3-5, and their parents, with emphasis on grade-level reading, bilingual literacy, and literacy through the visual arts, storytelling, and interactive activities. The program will host parents and children in weekly discussions and activities based on works of art in the permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, picture books, and other original works. The project results will provide an inclusive and responsive educational resource that can be shared and replicated to meet the growing national needs for arts and bilingual literacy programs.
The Wild Center will design and implement an innovative learning experience through new installations on Wild Walk, an elevated walkway that runs through the Adirondack forest. The museum will also design and lead interpretive training for staff, interns and volunteers, and draft and test interpretive programs. Exhibits will include a thirty-foot-high rope net "Spiders Web" suspended above the ground; "Squirrel Run," a series of suspended bridges that lead from the main walk; a two-story Tree House which will house multiple exhibits on wildlife and people-nature relationships; and a model Tree Snag that is 40 feet high and 12 feet in diameter. The museum aims to enhance audiences' understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts through dynamic learning experiences and interactive exhibits offered through an elevated view of the forest. The learning experiences and resources will foster an appreciation of being active in nature and promote the philosophy that spending time outdoors is a valuable part of our lives.
The Bakken will develop, design, fabricate, and install a new interactive exhibit called "Mary and Her Monster: Mary Shelley and the World that Created Frankenstein." In this hands-on, immersive exhibit, visitors will explore the life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the teenage author of Frankenstein, through the lenses of history, literature, and science. Through Shelley's story, the exhibit will present a relevant and inclusive vision of the many ways to think about, talk about, be inspired by, and participate in science. By providing a compelling gateway to science, the exhibit will meet the Bakken's increasingly diverse audience's need for innovative experiences that foster new skills and heighten engagement with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning.
The Greensboro Children's Museum, in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Guilford County Schools, will develop and implement the "Grow It, Cook It, Eat It" project to study the impact of food systems literacy education on the knowledge and behavior of K-2 children in an underserved school. The project will bring food education to a local elementary school where museum educators will work alongside classroom teachers to create and deliver weekly lessons to 60 students based on sustainable gardening practices, kitchen efficacy, attitudes toward fresh, seasonal food, and behavior toward garden work and trying new foods. Participating elementary students will build the beginnings of a skills set that will empower them, and their families,to make smart food choices for a lifetime.
The New England Wild Flower Society will develop an engaging, easily accessible curriculum of introductory online courses in botany, plant ecology, and native plant horticulture, which will be made available to conservation and educational organizations throughout the Northeastern U.S. via a new digital portal. These comprehensive classes in plant science will be available online for diverse lifelong learners and will incorporate classroom, online, and field participation by students; foster connections among students and mentors; and create a rich suite of learning opportunities.
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will plan, implement, and evaluate educational programming for its upcoming garden-wide exhibition, "Frida Kahlo's Garden." The programming and interpretation will create an immersive, compelling, interdisciplinary learning experience that merges arts, humanities, and science themes. Programming will celebrate Mexican culture, immersing visitors in the music, dance, food, and fashion that influenced Kahlo and continues to inspire people today. Through the exhibit and programming, visitors will gain insight into the impact of Kahlo's interest in the natural world on her artwork; understand the continuing impact of Mexican nature, nationalism, and intellectual history on arts and culture; and make personal connections between art, nature, and their own lives. The project will also provide a model for other botanical gardens to use to create interdisciplinary exhibitions.
The Palo Alto Art Center is partnering with the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo to develop a series of four artist residencies, each involving an artist who explores the natural world in his or her artwork, and exhibitions of artwork created during the residencies. The museums will address the challenge of successfully integrating art and science to enhance learning in museum contexts. During each exhibition, public programming will focus on the artwork and its scientific and environmental context, engaging a broad audience in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) based activities. The project will also serve as a model demonstrating the success of education through effective collaboration between an art museum and a science museum.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden will develop “Living Classrooms,” a new way to enrich and expand their informal education through live interpretation. The program will ensure that all visitors are given the opportunity to engage in meaningful ways with plants and learn how plants connect to their lives. Through “Living Classrooms,” BBG will redesign and expand its drop-in Discovery Programs, create comprehensive self-guided materials for families and school groups, train staff and volunteer Garden Guides and Discovery Docents to use dialogue-based techniques, and create new topical tours that will engage BBG’s growing and diverse audience. By placing the learner at the center and delivering reimagined programs, the garden will help visitors connect plant science, conservation, sustainability, and ecosystem to the context of their own lives so that they might be inspired to become active stewards of the environment.
The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) will develop strategies and resources for modeling, fostering, and assessing creativity that can be practiced and sustained in pre-K through grade 12 learning environments as part of its "Making Creativity Visible Initiative." Reflecting the museum's shift to focus efforts on creativity as an important skill to prepare today's students for successful and productive lives in the 21st century, the project will support in-depth research, evaluation, design, delivery of high-quality programming and tools to promote creative thinking for a wide range of learners. It will also provide training and capacity building for CMA staff, docents, and Central Ohio educators to more effectively and intentionally impact the creativity of the community.
The Children's Museum of Manhattan will implement and evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive, six-month onsite program and performance series presented as part of its "Hello from Japan!" exhibition. The museum will evaluate three core programs: the effectiveness of its daily, hands-on workshops, conducted in the exhibition space that explore contemporary and traditional Japanese culture for families; six monthly festivals that explore various aspects of contemporary and traditional Japanese culture in depth; and 24 music, dance and theater performances highlighting both contemporary and traditional Japanese performing arts. The project will result in an evaluation report and best practices guide that will serve as a valuable resource to the museum staff and to other museums throughout the country developing culture programs.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will make its adult education and engagement program, "YBCA:YOU,", much more robust so that it can serve an increasing number of participants. "YBCA:YOU" is a series of activities that include an onsite participation phase involving attendance at a self-curated series of arts events and participatory activities. In this phase, the center aims to increase participants' level of aesthetic awareness, capability, and appreciation of contemporary art and offer at least 50 YBCA:YOU exclusive events each year—from artist lectures and discussion groups to the center's signature Art Savvy and Smart Night Out workshops. This program will help to establish a framework for creating a community of engaged, creative citizens who gain experiential learning, critical knowledge, and aesthetic development from the art, the artists, and the programs of the center, and from each other.
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco will plan, prototype, and test a series of in-gallery participatory components entitled "Dynamic Moments," designed to engage visitors, disseminate information, encourage active looking at art objects, and stimulate dialogue. These highly participatory spaces will include activities bringing the art to life, such as materials for creative expression; augmented reality and other digital experiences; social networking prompts; and a range of contextual information delivered in bold, graphic, and accessible ways. This project will showcase the quality and breadth of the museum holdings, while engaging community representatives and experts in the field to ensure that installations and experiences are relatable, exciting, and place the learner at the center of each experience.
The Tahoe Environmental Research Center will create an interactive exhibit that merges the results of citizen science with a real-time ecosystem monitoring network to reveal the immediate impacts of watershed processes on Lake Tahoe's nearshore. Citizen scientists will provide real-time "sensor data" from instruments located around the shores of Lake Tahoe and deliver "perceptual data" from mobile devices. Visitors to the research center will then be able to see and experiment with how conditions change over time at different locations around the lake. The exhibit will tie directly to a set of stewardship and action messages that will empower and equip visitors and residents to improve the health of Lake Tahoe's nearshore and become aware of issues in other freshwater ecosystems.
The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will produce a documentary film, multimedia curricula, a series of teach-ins, and an international youth exchange to explore grassroots peace building practices under its "Cities of Peace: Transforming Chicago and Phnom Penh" educational program. The museum will reach out to members of high-need communities in Chicago and Cambodia and collaborate with scholars and community leaders to document, educate, and advocate for a grassroots approach to peace building in response to histories of institutional and interpersonal violence. The project aims to empower youth to initiate and maintain dialogues about peace building in their own communities, facilitate intercultural exchange, and provide a means of understanding and responding to the damage caused by historical and present-day violence and inequality.