Engaging in Education

So You Want to Make a Comic

An intriguing account of how, focusing on disease that can be transmitted between humans and other animals (zoonotic diseases), the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) developed a comic book to help middle school students understand how scientists solve mysteries: the process of creating theories, collecting and analyzing evidence, and understanding what data supports or refutes their hypotheses.

Building Community with Educators

A decade ago, grant money was flowing, workshops were packed, and an email blast or two was all that was needed before our programs started to fill up. Recently, though, teachers have stopped attending training programs; teachers who show up are often tired and overwhelmed. This article tackles efforts and tactics to draw educators in, building a community with them.

Museums Bring Making to Afterschool Educators

“It works! Look! It works! Yay!” This was a common refrain as the science center staff in the training room successfully illuminated their little light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, after building a simple circuit. This article discusses the implementation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ (21st CCLC) STEM-Rich Afterschool Making Project.

Align Your Programs to Address Schools' Needs

There is nothing like seeing joyful learning in a child, but hosting a weeklong science festival is a tall order. Looking for a smaller-scale way to reach young people in your community? Head back to school. Working with schools can be easy, if you have the right approach. How can you make your partnerships with schools successful? This article details some helpful practices.

Partnering with Education

When organizations work together, they can build on each other’s strengths; the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Collaboration can be simple, between two Individuals, or it can be complicated, such as when multiple organizations come together to address a community-wide problem or work toward a systemic goal. Some principles of Collective Impact can be useful guideposts for every collaboration; this article considers two examples of collaboration through the lens of Collective Impact.

The STEAM Residency Program: Playing in the Gray Area Between Formal and Informal Learning

Historically, informal learning in non-classroom-based institutions has been regarded as inferior to formal education; primarily supporting in-classroom learning—a punctuation to the curriculum. This article discusses how informal STEAM learning experiences provide an important complement to in-classroom learning through emotionally impactful learning opportunities in a novel environment, providing “wow” moments, connecting students and teachers with real science in a fun, safe, and exciting immersive environment, and sparking an interest in learning more about science.