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Podcast: How the ASTC helps science centers shine!

Written by Ben Newsome on October 6th, 2017.      0 comments

Ann Hernandez from ASTC on the FizzicsEd podcast

Even the best science & technology centers in the world need a support network. Ann Hernandez drops by to discuss how the Association of Science-Technology Centers helps over 600 members across 50 countries make their exhibitions even more interactive and engaging than ever for ages young and old.  

“It’s a sense of membership, a sense of ownership and a sense that you’re at equal levels. It’s not just about the expert PhD scientist talking to the public, it’s about communities working next to knowledge holders and working through ideas together.”

We also look at equity and diversity issues in STEM and the rise of citizen science in museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and more. Plus, we revisit a grab from a past episode in which Karen Taylor-Brown from Refraction Media shares her passion for getting students into Careers in STEM and Careers in Code through innovative publishing & events.

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Top 3 learnings

  1. If you’re in a museum or cultural site, how are you addressing diversity and equity of access? If you need help in this area, reach out to professionals such as Ann who will be able to point you in the right direction.
  2. Don’t worry about being perfect! It’s ok for the public to see you create a new space for them… and it’s even better if they can contribute. It’s all about ownership after all!
  3. Reach out to community organisations to broaden participation. This can be via citizen science as well as traditional outreach activities.

About Ann Hernandez

Ann Hernandez from the  ASTC
Ann Hernandez from the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington DC 

Ann is a former elementary teacher and is on the leadership team for the International Society for Technology in Education Interactive Video Conferencing Professional Learning Network, following her work as a distance learning Educator, Manager, and Director of Programs at the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum in Michigan. She is currently the Program Manager for Professional Development and Inclusion Initiatives at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in Washington, D.C., a global organization that provides collective voice, professional support, and programming opportunities to science centers, museums, and similar institutions. ASTC serves over 600 members across 50 countries. The projects in Ann’s domain focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, including leading ASTC’s Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program which is celebrating its 17th year.

About the FizzicsEd Podcast

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It's not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it's about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

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If something grabbed your attention in this STEM podcast please leave your thoughts below.

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Happy teaching,


Ben Newsome
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