The Future of Science Centers

Looking Back to Look Ahead

Science centers may seem commonplace today. However, that was not so four decades ago, when total attendance at my first ASTC conference was about 50. Reviewing the history of the field, beginning with those institutions that influenced its development, can offer perspective for considering future directions.

A Framework for the Future of Science Centers: Our Roles in Education, Innovation, and Community

In a world adapting to transformative innovations, grappling with ready access to information, and navigating changing visitor expectations, what role should science centers play? In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Science Centre in September 2019, we have been focused on this question and what we need to do to remain relevant beyond this five-decade milestone.

Future Trajectories for STEM Education at Virginia Air and Space Center

What exactly is the future role for science and technology-related free-choice learning centers in fostering student engagement, critical thinking, lifelong learning, and workforce development? Do we have a responsibility to address long-term issues pertaining to the United States’ competitive advantage such that no child is left behind? Isn’t it true that every country needs to have a science literate public and that no country can afford to leave anyone behind?

Model, Talent, Mission: What Species Is Your Science Center?

As we consider the future and reflect on our transition from museums with collections to science centers with interactive exhibits, we ask ourselves: What are we evolving into next? The unique environmental stressors and opportunities in each of our communities are shaping the “natural selection” of our science centers. Could we be evolving into distinctly different species and away from our common ancestors of the early- and mid-20th century?