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The collection, storage, and care of large objects present ongoing challenges for museums of all sizes. The Center for Wooden Boats will test photogrammetry on large collection items, or macro-artifacts, to measure size and monitor changes over time. Changes in dimension can help alert collections managers to the need for active or preventative conservation treatment. The project team will develop, test, and refine a procedure for using photogrammetry to monitor dimensional stability on a variety of watercraft and other maritime macro-artifacts, resulting in procedures that will ultimately be usable in vastly different museum environments and subject areas.
Despite considerable excitement surrounding the promise of 3D printing, the use of this technology in the museum setting is, as yet, unevaluated. The Art Institute of Chicago will experiment with innovative approaches to audience engagement using 3D technologies. Various programing will be tested on adults, families, teens, and tweens to evaluate the potential impact of 3D printing technologies on engagement with museum collections. The museum will develop guidelines and modular program “recipes” to be shared with other museums and educators.
San Diego Society of Natural History will use popular technology, social software, and digitized natural history collections to reconnect the public with nature. NatureSpace addresses the challenge of making digitized natural history collections, which are traditionally not designed to be accessible to the average person, more engaging through a new user-friendly front-end interface. Working with volunteer organizations interested in interpreting three local natural areas in the San Diego region, the museum will prototype 18 user-centered tools such as scavenger hunts and interpretive walks for the NatureSpace mobile application. The final products will be openly shared with the museum community.
The purpose of the Kansas African American Museum’s funded project is to (1) build the museum’s capacity to provide a youth program in public history; (2) expand volunteers and docents through a new recruitment and training program; (3) upgrade the collections management system; and (4) address collection care and security needs identified in its CAP (Conservation Assessment Program) report. Specifically, the project will create a public history youth program in partnership with the University of Kansas Libraries, serving sixty youth annually; recruit and train twenty-five volunteer docents annually; implement the PastPerfect Collection Management System for much of its collections; and identify the most critical CAP recommendations and fully implement at least forty percent of them by October 2015.
South Carolina State University, an HBCU, will use its grant to provide a variety of learning experiences at its I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium. To accomplish this goal, the museum will hire an education assistant; a team will develop a pilot project to integrate the museum into curricula; and consultants will provide training to strengthen knowledge, skills, and creativity in all aspects of educational museums, including educational outreach, cross-disciplinary thinking, innovation, visitor diversity, and lifelong learning.
Chilkat Indian Village’s Klukwan Community and School Library project “Cultivating Traditional Practices” will focus on learning and innovation, media literacy, and life and career skills. Cultural and skill-building programs for all ages will be taught by elders, other tradition bearers, and visiting presenters. They will feature traditional knowledge such as subsistence practices, preparation of traditional foods and medicines, and Northwest Coast art and design. Seven locally produced videos will document this knowledge for future generations, including two that will be planned and produced by high school students, to be shown in a film premier event as a part of Klukwan’s Culture Days. In addition, the tribal archive will be enriched by donations of private collections, and staff will learn skills necessary for organizing and making these valuable resources available to the community.
On behalf of the Makah Nation, the Makah Cultural and Research Center (MCRC) will undertake a multifaceted project that will include the research and development of lectures, information kits, a booklet, a traveling photo exhibit, and instructional videos documenting the important annual cultural celebration called Makah Days. It will also include a lecture series on Makah genealogy to assist tribal members in understanding their personal and family history and how they fit into the fabric of the tribe. The ongoing community need for enhanced technology skills will be addressed with a series of computer classes in partnership with the local high school that will be free to community members. Honors students will provide one-on-one mentoring alongside the instructor. Collections policy and preservation plans will also be developed for the ever-expanding manuscripts collection in the MCRC.
The White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe will establish a new full-service library—the Maamigin Achigaade, or “Gathering Place.” Building on the Readmobile services that have delivered literacy materials to thousands of children since 2007, and the nation’s strong partnership with Northern Lights Library Network, the new library will provide a central place for community members of all ages to finally access full library services without traveling long distances. Print and digital resources and public computers will complement the new Smart Play Spot designation awarded by the Minnesota Children’s Museum. The Gathering Place will serve as a learning and meeting hub for the community. Staff will incorporate Ojibwe language and storytelling into all programming to facilitate language revitalization on the reservation, a vital goal for the people of the White Earth Nation.
The Suquamish Tribe will provide programs, instruction, and resources that will foster positive relationships between the generations—youth and elders, students and teachers, and the community at large. The “Connections: Relationships, Resources & Reading Project” will bring together a team from the Suquamish Tribal Library, Chief Kitsap Academy, Tribal Education Department, Suquamish Museum, Elders Council, and Youth Council as well as the North Kitsap School District, to engage students with culturally relevant learning styles and rigorous academic curricula. An important component of the project will pair students with elders in a reciprocal mentoring program in which elders will share their cultural knowledge with students who will digitally record their stories and, in turn, share their technological expertise with the elders. The new resources developed with this grant will provide fresh and accurate materials for the new “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State” statewide curriculum.
The Scripps Library at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center will develop Connecting Presidential Collections (presedentialcollections.org), a centralized portal for audiences to access presidential materials, which are both vast and disparate. Creating a centralized resource addresses the needs of audiences by simplifying discovery and will allow for increased exposure for the collections of presidential sites and libraries. Building on work completed during a planning grant, this next phase of work will include finalizing the website, cataloging materials, growing the number of participating partners, creating training resources, and digitizing microfilm collections. Once populated, this website will be a robust resource for scholars, librarians, researchers, students, and presidential history buffs.
The Missouri Botanical Garden and partners at Harvard University, Cornell University, and New York Botanical Garden will test new means of crowdsourcing to support the enhancement of content in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). The BHL is an international consortium of the world’s leading natural history libraries that have collaborated to digitize the public domain literature documenting the world’s biological diversity, resulting in the single, largest, open-licensed source of biodiversity literature. The project will demonstrate whether or not digital games are an effective tool for analyzing and improving digital outputs from optical character recognition and transcription. The anticipated benefits of gaming include improved access to content by providing richer and more accurate data; an extension of limited staff resources; and exposure of library content to communities who may not know about the collections otherwise.
The Knowledge Management/Eskind Biomedical Library at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center will develop a model for delivering patient-specific, consumer-friendly information that will lead to more informed patients, who are more likely to take a proactive, participatory role in their health care. The project’s test bed will be My Cancer Genome (mycancergenome.org), a freely available web-based tool that provides information on tumor-based genetic mutations that can impact cancer treatment, the study of which is called pharmocogenetics. The team has selected two cancer types, melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer to demonstrate broad applicability of the model framework developed. Key project components include drafting guidelines for developing consumer-friendly educational material about pharmacogenetic principles; creating consumer-friendly pharmocogenetic content; and detailing a process for content refinement and evaluation.
The Department of Libraries for the Chicago public schools will improve school librarians’ understanding of mobile technologies so that mobile devices can be better supported in school and school library programs. In response to these challenges, the participating schools will produce lesson plans, student artifacts, and technology integration recommendations, which can be used to support implementation at other schools. The project is unique among other technology integration programs due to involvement of school leadership at each site, the creation of standards-based lesson plans by school librarians, and the inclusion of gamifcation features into the program design.
Howard University’s Moorland Spingarn Research Center, with project partners, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at New York Public Library, OCLC, the Washington Research Library Consortium, and the Social Networks and Archival Context Project, will develop the “Portal to the Black Experience. This will better support the needs of researchers interested in the cultural heritage of diverse and under-represented communities by providing enhanced metadata, beyond what is traditionally supplied in bibliographic catalogs. As a model, this will demonstrate the potential of new metadata practices and technologies as the means to search across collections held by different institutions.
Providence Community Library will partner with Ready to Learn Providence on “Ready for K!,” a school readiness program designed to reduce the achievement gap for children who are entering kindergarten and have not participated in formal early learning programs. Major project components include professional development for children’s librarians and family literacy programming, including the creation of literacy kits with books and activities. The project will help ensure that students enter kindergarten ready to learn and will demonstrate the library’s important role as a partner in meeting this essential community need.
The Hartford Public Library, in collaboration with Hartford Public Schools and other community partners, will conduct two surveys and eight focus groups with teachers, parents, and caregivers to study why many families do not engage in summer learning. The information collected from these activities will create the framework for the “Summer Learning! Family Engagement Continuum.” The Hartford Public Library will analyze data to better understand the current landscape, identify potential solutions, and seek training to address identified challenges. The framework created through this planning grant will be a summer learning model, and the final report will be distributed to maximize community awareness of this need in the community. The final project will offer comprehensive summer learning services to the community in addition to year-round resources that will help facilitate families learning together.
The University of Washington Libraries and the Music Library Association (MLA) will conduct a one-year project titled, “National Forum on Online-Only Music: 21st Century Sound Recording Collection in Crisis.” Today’s music industry is increasingly favoring online-only, direct-to-consumer music distribution. This project will examine the possibility of creating an online option to access music collections in library environments. UW and MLA will hire five expert consultants, hold one planning meeting, bring stakeholders together in three national forum meetings, analyze content of the meetings, and develop approaches to the issues including, ideally, a licensing scenario in which libraries may purchase and provide access to online-only music.
The University of Maine’s Raymond H. Fogler Library and College of Education and Human Development, with the Old Town Elementary School and Old Town Public Library, will use this grant to support the planning of three informational text kit sets (20 – 30 kits per set) that will become long-term support for early literacy in Maine. This planning grant will evaluate and develop how libraries can work together to support literacy from birth to age eight and address the challenges of school readiness and summer reading loss. Once created, the kits will act as a model for other libraries to address early literacy challenges. The project will support training on the kits, early literacy knowledge, promoting their use with parents, and the criteria for crafting new kits in the future.
The Adult Literacy Resource Center at the District of Columbia Public Library, in partnership with Academy of Hope, will create a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Institute for instructors of GED preparation classes. In January of 2014, there will be a new GED exam with more rigorous content that requires instructors to teach higher-level skills to youth and adults who already struggle. Activities include recruitment of ten teacher-trainers, facilitation of ten workshops, and development of curricula available through an open source textbook and online learning platform. The institute’s scripts, agendas, handouts and video will be made freely available online for use by seventy-five to one hundred paid and volunteer teachers and tutors of GED preparation and others.
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, will create National Guidelines and Best Practices for Financial Literacy Education (FLE) in libraries nationwide. Both guidelines and best practices guides will be located and freely available on the RUSA website. Guidelines will consolidate and standardize best practices, innovative thinking, and successful service delivery models for library-based FLE, offering an essential framework for interventions to help patrons gain financial knowledge, literacy, and even fluency. The guidelines and best practices will spark substantial improvements in how and how many libraries offer appropriately tailored FLE services, filling a substantial nationwide service gap. Documents will be complemented by single- and three-session FLE webinars to help prepare librarians and library staff.
Purdue University will develop CrowdAsk - A Crowdsource Library Help System, a web-based help system for academic libraries. CrowdAsk will allow librarians, students, and faculty to ask and answer questions about library resources and tools. CrowdAsk will also support ranking of questions and answers by users as well as the use of scores and badges for user motivation. The project addresses issues of existing fragmented library and academic help channels, content reuse and preservation, and lack of user (particularly expert) participation. CrowdAsk will be open source and shared with the public. It will impact the way users interact with libraries, as well as promote better understanding and use of library resources. The project will give users power to support others in getting research help.
The Claremont Colleges Library’s Visual Curriculum Mapping (VCM) project focuses on visualizing the interconnected learning communities of Claremont McKenna College, Claremont Graduate University, Harvey Mudd College, Keck Graduate Institute, Pitzer College, Pomona College, and Scripps College (the 7Cs). The project addresses the rapidly shifting landscape of libraries and higher education and will result in production and archiving of web-based interactive maps. This work will support information literacy across the curriculum and explore opportunities for library community and capacity building at the 7Cs. The maps will provide a foundation for an annual bird’s-eye snapshot of how the 7Cs coincide academically, highlighting strategic points for library intervention among students and faculty and providing the diverse academic communities with a value-added means of identifying shared opportunities and challenges.
Towson University’s Center for GIS (CGIS), in partnership with the Eastern Shore Regional Library and Towson University’s Cook Library, will conduct a needs assessment and then develop, implement, and evaluate a geographic information system (GIS) for libraries. GIS promotes efficient, information-based organizational planning and analysis by spatially integrating datasets into graphic displays of relationships, patterns, and trends. CGIS will integrate raw data collected by Eastern Shore libraries with other datasets to create a map- and market-driven picture of library users and their preferences. The goal is to identify and offer more programs and services that are pertinent to more people. With the ability to visualize the relationships of disparate data sets, library administrators can understand better which services and resources address community needs.
The L.C. Bates Museum will collaborate with second grade teachers to bring science and art education programs to 14 schools, and offer family activities and fieldtrips for rural, mostly low-income second graders and their families. Designed to support both the schools’ curriculum and enhance lifelong community learning, the initiative will provide interactive programs to increase academic success for children with diverse learning styles and special needs. The museum will bring a series of 10 educational programs to 40 classrooms each year; sponsor 16 family fieldtrips to the museum; loan four science/art literacy boxes to teachers; film and broadcast two cable television programs on the project; and develop two museum exhibits showcasing the students’ work. The project will strengthen museum/school collaborations to support learning, and enable family access to the arts, museum, and outdoor activities to build understanding and stewardship of the community’s natural environment.
Hofstra University Museum will hire a part-time educator to strengthen the impact of its Art Travelers Through Time program, serving underserved third graders and their teachers. The program uses experiential study of authentic objects from the world’s cultures to enrich classroom curricula, building 21st century skills in creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, visual literacy, and communication. Students receive classroom instruction from museum educators; visit the museum; create and share stories, poems, folk tales, and art; and write letters to pen pals from other Art Travelers schools. The expansion of the program will increase participation to at least 700 students annually, and provide enhanced resources and additional workshops for teachers. Family outreach will also be improved through bi-lingual communications and museum educator presentations at PTA and Board of Education meetings. Evaluation will include pre- and post-testing to assess the program’s effectiveness in regard to learning objectives related to the Common Core and New York Learning Standards.
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) will redesign its website to be a primary location to engage new publics and expand its capacity to connect with its audiences and deepen their understanding of participatory, public artistic practices. LACE will produce six short-form documentary videos for streaming via the website. The videos will present case studies of public art works, featuring the lead artists. Each artist will invite collaborating stakeholders to create companion videos presenting their perspectives. The museum will also host and document two annual events to facilitate dialogue among artists, stakeholders, cultural producers, and theorists. The project activities are intended to provide critical learning opportunities about public, participatory artistic practices and the subject matter of their work. Audiences will learn about the skills and methodologies used for different stakeholders to collaborate and enact social change within their communities.
The Newport Art Museum will use its grant to support the expansion of MUSE, a school-to-career initiative that orients high school students to the management and administration of museums and cultural institutions through hands-on and classroom learning, multiple site visits, and mentoring. Developed in partnership with community leaders, MUSE is designed to strengthen museum-community connections, inspire and educate youth about careers in arts administration and museum management, and cultivate a professional workforce. The Museum will expand the program by providing additional sections and offerings of the coursework within schools and establishing paid internships for students.
Building on early childhood research, the Lawrence Hall of Science will develop activities to engage children ages 4-7 in “design thinking.” Engineering design activities use hands-on learning to promote design thinking and 21st century skills. The project will incorporate the new activities into existing programs and train staff and volunteer educators in effective strategies to engage families and young children. The project will result in several products to be disseminated to the field, including a research-based effective practices framework for developing design experiences for young children in museums; a set of engineering design activities for early learners; a facilitator professional development program; and research and evaluation reports. Design Thinking through Play will contribute to the research and evidence base regarding the learning potential of these methodologies to nurture the habits and mindset of engineers and innovators.
The Chicago Children’s Museum will develop a multimedia Story Hub that allows visitors to create and share video documentaries of their museum experiences. The onsite Story Hub will allow visitors to verbalize their understanding of the meaning and value of their experience with the museum’s exhibits by creating and recording a reflective narrative, accompanied by photos of different exhibits. Visitors will also be able to access these videos from the Internet after their visit. The project is based on research that shows that learning is more complete when experiences can be processed verbally, reflected upon, and shared. The videos will also provide museum staff with valuable information about the impact and perceived value of specific exhibits and activities to inform planning for the museum’s expansion. The Story Hub will provide a model for other museums seeking strategies to learn how their visitors understand and value their offerings.
Poplar Forest will develop a comprehensive interpretive plan to guide its evolution from a historic preservation and rescue project to an audience-focused museum. The aim is to link Jefferson the man, the cultural and natural features of his plantation, and the concerns of the museum’s audience. Drawing upon an IMLS-funded Museum Assessment Program (MAP) survey and a subsequent strategic planning process, Poplar Forest’s interpretive plan will focus on delivering engaging learning experiences that encourage civic literacy. The interpretive planning process will include an independent, outcome-based evaluation plan with logic modeling, front-end and formative audience research, and community outreach meetings. The plan will enable the museum to make the plantation more physically and intellectually accessible and more impactful to a broader audience.
The American Folk Art Museum will redesign its website and integrate new technologies into the operations of the museum in order to increase public access, promote lifelong learning, and provide a richer online experience to a larger audience. The redesigned website will increase the museum’s ability to deliver audience-focused programs, while serving as a source of folk art scholarship for both the casual visitor and researcher. By creating a dynamic online and social media presence, the museum will build an engaged audience, sharing the creative and diverse human expression of folk art both in the museum and on 21stcentury screens and devices.
Armory Center for the Arts will expand Art High to serve a broader demographic, emphasizing at-risk and in-crisis teens. The museum will deepen programming through mentoring, career guidance, portfolio development, and exhibition of teen artwork, while providing more than 700 teens with more than 1,000 hours of instruction yearly. It will build on partnerships with the Learning Works Charter School and Homeboy Industries to engage in-crisis teens, helping them gain 21st century skills and experience personal accomplishment in a supportive environment. The museum will create new evaluation techniques and tools to ensure that programming meets the needs of underserved teens and will conduct targeted outreach to diverse populations that have few opportunities for substantive arts education. The museum will share the initiative and its professional development and outreach techniques through the Teaching Artist State Collaborative and National Art Education Association Convention and will lead a 2014 regional conference.
The Minnesota Children’s Museum will plan and prototype a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) gallery as the centerpiece of its expansion and renovation. The gallery will reflect current research on the role of play in developing 21st century skills. Play is thought to foster inquiry and problem solving among early learners by helping children learn and practice scientific skills such as observation, classification, measurement, collection, and hypothesizing. The museum will prototype and test elements relating to building, sorting, counting, and using interactive technology to explore STEM concepts within its current gallery spaces and will use evaluation results to inform the overall project. The project will expand the museum’s understanding of designing playful learning experiences for children and families and support the museum’s efforts to promote open-ended, child-directed playful learning.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium will use grant funds to support Teen Conservation Leaders, a hands-on opportunity for teens to make a contribution to their community while learning science content and practicing leadership skills. Teens will attend intensive summer training with time dedicated toward team building, natural history and ocean literacy content, customer service, interpretation and communication training, and an introduction to the aquarium’s history, mission, and educational programs. After training, each teen will commit to a minimum of 75 service-learning hours per year at the aquarium. The 150 teens participating in the program will gain valuable leadership and professional skills along with science content and hands-on work experience. The project aims to encourage participant to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career pathways.
The San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum will create the Breaking Ground initiative to promote cross-cultural understanding among diverse immigrants and help foster a positive future for immigrant children. Building on its experience in outreach to Latino and Vietnamese communities, the museum will engage South Asian, Indian, Filipino, Chinese, and Taiwanese communities to develop and pilot-test programs using food as an expression of culture to share ethnic traditions. Through community dialogues during meals, the project will identify participatory experiences and cross-cultural intersections to be presented in the museum. Platforms will include a Foodways Corner to showcase cultural food traditions in person and through video narratives; Foodways Garden Beds where community volunteers select, plant, and tend produce; and Foodways Video Narratives, virtual experiences available through social media channels.
Ford’s Theatre Society will plan and pilot a nationwide effort to digitize evidence of local responses to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the end of the Civil War. The 150th anniversary of these two seminal events in American history will occur in 2015. For the second phase of the project, the Society will invite the general public to submit local responses to the assassination through an Internet interface. The digital collection of artifacts will be made available to Ford’s Theatre visitors through an online exhibition. In this way, the Society will connect visitors with digital artifacts from their own state or hometown historical societies and libraries and create capacity to build partnerships with diverse historic sites and libraries.
California Indian Museum and Cultural Center staff members and youth from the center’s Native Youth in Action Service Learning Program will create datasets for California Indigenous, an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS)-based map exhibit designed to enhance K-12 instruction on California Indian history and cultures under existing curriculum standards. The grant will support a GIS consultant to train Native youth on GIS procedures to produce datasets for exhibition maps and consolidate datasets into a complete exhibit database; fund two week-long GIS Tribal Ambassador summer camps where Native GIS professionals and cultural center staff members will provide information about GIS careers and potential educational training opportunities to pursue those careers; and support a STEM college/career fair at the cultural center to present STEM educational opportunities to Native youth. The project will spark Native youth interest in STEM education and careers and build their digital media technology skills while increasing the cultural center’s GIS capacity.
The John G. Shedd Aquarium will develop From Classroom Walls to Museum Halls: Transforming the Science Field Trip for the 21st Century Learner, a program that will use in-depth research, stakeholder input, and innovative technology to design, implement, and evaluate the next generation of impactful science fieldtrips at the museum. By aligning teacher motivation and expectations, classroom curriculum goals and fieldtrip content, these enhanced school group experiences will improve student learning outcomes. The project will serve as a template for successful student engagements at the aquarium and as a model for other institutions to develop research-based fieldtrip experiences.
The Erie Art Museum will implement its Kids as Curators program, designed to reach three middle school populations (one suburban, one rural, and one inner-city) each year. The program will focus on training teachers and resident artists about the curatorial process–selecting, evaluating, interpreting, and presenting objects in exhibitions–to engage students in the basic concepts of their curriculum. The project activities include students drawing from their own collections; each school curating and designing an exhibition from the students’ collections at their own institution; and the installation of each school’s exhibition at the Erie Art Museum.
The DuPage Children’s Museum will fabricate ten new air exhibits for AWEsome Air, which is part of a larger new exhibition: AWEsome Energy (Air, Water and Electricity). They will direct special attention to 7 to 10-year-olds to align their experiences with school curriculum and Common Core science standards and to offer independent, sophisticated, and complex experiences. Through a partnership with the Illinois Math and Science Academy, the project will develop a software application (tablet computers on-site and a mobile application to allow remote access) to expand and deepen children’s and adult’s science learning. AWEsome Air is designed to ignite young children’s interest in science and encourage STEM careers, building a stronger future workforce.
The Walters Art Museum will develop a comprehensive program to foster meaningful visitor experiences and learning around the museum’s collection of Islamic art. Corresponding with the special exhibition, Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World, being presented in the fall of 2014, the museum will use grant funds to conduct public educational programs for schools, families, and adults; develop educational and interpretive materials; and develop an interactive educational resource for visitors to use online and through a kiosk in the permanent collection galleries. These programs and resources will engage audiences with stories about people while emphasizing artistic and cultural achievements of Muslim communities, resulting in a broader understanding and connection with Islamic art and culture for visitors.
History Colorado will design, create, pilot, and evaluate five multilevel 21st century skills-based Colorado History Digital Badges for children in fourth, seventh, and eleventh grades. Each badge will challenge students to complete various quests or activities in conjunction with the learning standards for their appropriate grade. The badges will benefit teachers who are being asked to teach new content with new standards through a variety of teacher resources and professional development opportunities across Colorado. This project will address the statewide initiative to expand the teaching of Colorado history across grade levels.
The Mattress Factory will build upon a previous IMLS-funded archival digitization project, to develop educational programs and a mobile application to make this historical material accessible to a broad, diverse audience. The application will let visitors enhance their museum experiences and delve into the creative process of artists who have worked at the museum. The museum will invite visitors to incorporate their own stories into the active archive, helping staff evaluate audience needs and educational impact. The project will enhance education programs for the general public, students and teachers, scholars and researchers, museum and cultural professionals, and individuals in rural communities in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and the urban Pittsburgh community. The project will increase audience technology skills and help museum educators, teaching artists, and education staff integrate technology into museum education.
The Textile Museum will design a new interactive Learning Center gallery as part of its relocation to the George Washington (GW) University campus. The Learning Center will provide hands-on and technology-enhanced interaction to promote understanding of the textile arts and their connection with world culture, history, economics, mathematics, and other disciplines. It will put the learner at the center through self-guided activities and serve as a resource for museum educators. The museum will work with an advisory group of potential users and content experts to design the Learning Center, drawing on new technology and research, and lessons learned from its existing activity gallery. The museum will engage GW museum education degree candidates to conduct front-end evaluation to help ensure it meets audience needs and engage interns from the education department, helping to train the next generation of museum professionals.
The New York Botanical Garden will undertake a two-year project to develop, implement, and evaluate new edible gardening programs and to measure the effectiveness of existing programs. This project will help the garden expand its gardening initiatives, culminating in the opening of a new year-round edible gardening complex that will be known as The Edible Academy. Scheduled to open in early 2015, The Edible Academy will expand the footprint of the existing Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden through additional gardening space, new classrooms, and a greenhouse. The garden’s programming will increase from six months per year to year-round, which will double the number of people served by edible gardening programs to approximately 80,000 visitors.
The San Diego Natural History Museum will design and create two interactive exhibit maps with extended content. One map will reside in a free app accessed via smartphone and take advantage of indoor mapping technologies, and the second map will be accessed on the museum’s website. Both maps will encourage visitors to customize their tour of the new exhibition, Habitat Journey/Viaje por los Hábitats, and to deepen their involvement in the exhibit’s content. The museum’s goal is to foster and deepen a visitor’s sense of place for their region through digital tools that complement the exhibit, Habitat Journey/Viaje por los Hábitats.
To encourage children and families to engage with nature and become active outdoors, The Discovery Museums will design and build a fully accessible tree house and other outdoor exhibits, and develop associated programming. The “Natural Connections” project is designed to counteract a decline in outdoor play, and encourage the positive impacts of nature on children’s activity levels, concentration, and creativity. The museum will partner with the Massachusetts Audubon Society and EcoTarium to develop strategies to engage families outdoors. It will work with the Institutes for Human Centered Design, Children’s Hospital’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, the Perkins School for the Blind, and Autism Alliance of MetroWest to make the tree house and surrounding activities accessible for children with physical, sensory, or cognitive issues. The museum will also conduct front-end audience research to develop activities that attract families and overcome barriers to outdoor participation.
The Center for the History of Psychology will partner with 10 local high school teachers to design, implement, and evaluate educational resources to provide meaningful, informative, and memorable fieldtrips. The teachers will attend a one-day workshop to brainstorm with the project team. The museum will develop a Teachers Resource Package with guides to the museum, exhibits, and classroom activities; lesson plans based on state standards; and an online repository of archival materials for classroom activities. The museum will also create a “Measuring the Mind” interactive exhibit for teenagers and young adults, providing access to historical materials from the collections. The implementation of written teacher, student, and staff evaluations will help other collecting institutions identify what resources are most valuable to high school teachers and what effects they have on student learning and engagement.
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will continue its ARTworks art education program, which since 2003, has provided creative learning opportunities in the arts, broadened awareness of museum exhibits and programming, and built a connection to the members of the regional community. Activities will include hands-on art lessons in rural elementary school classrooms provided by teaching artists and aligned with the Idaho Humanities Standards; in-service training to elementary, junior and senior high school teachers; tours and art lessons in the museum for schools across the region; and four free family days to the public reaching more than 5,000 community members.
The Port Discovery Children’s Museum will design, fabricate, install, and promote a new exhibit that explores agriculture through themes of science and technology, history, local ecology, global economy, and art. The “Here We Grow” exhibit will be rich in words, ideas, images, sounds, and interactive elements to support diverse learning styles; build school readiness skills; promote self-directed and multi-generational learning; and help children develop logic, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills necessary for success in the 21st century. It will link to Maryland’s Social Studies and STEM curricula and help motivate students who have difficulty engaging in classroom settings. The museum will partner with Towson University to develop front-end, formative, and summative evaluation, with prototype exhibit elements being revised and finalized based on evaluation results. The museum will promote the exhibit to families and educators through a targeted marketing campaign, including public relations, social media, and outreach to schools, school districts, and teachers.