Majority of Visitors Do Not Feel Museum Staff Care

A recent study published by Museum Audience Insight looks at why almost 90% of visitors feel that staff does not really care about visitors.  One visitor went as far to comment:

I would get rid of the majority of the staff and replace them with energetic, well-informed individuals with an open creative mind and the ability to focus on the needs of the customer (the general public) and its changing face.” In other words, this visitor’s main museum fantasy is a caring staff.

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McCain VP Pick Palin, Supporter of Creationism

According to an article in Politico today, Sarah Palin, the surprise Vice Presidential pick of Senator John McCain is a supporter of creationism and has argued it should be taught along side evolution in schools.

Palin’s conservative credentials certainly aren’t in question. Among other things, she has backed the teaching of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution. “I am a proponent of teaching both [evolution and intelligent design],” Palin said in a debate during her run for the governor’s office. “And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution.”

ECHO Lake and Science Center Recieves $1m Gift

URLINGTON, Vt.—Philanthropist Lois McClure, who joined her late husband in donating $2.5 million to found the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center on the city’s Lake Champlain waterfront, is donating another $1 million as an endowment. Read the rest of this entry »

New Science Center planned for Arkansas

According to an articlein the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, plans for a new science center for Northwest Arkansas are moving forward as the Northwest Arkansas Museum Foundation begins the process of site selection for the new 130,000 square-foot facility. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts see impact of museums in science education efforts

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Three or four times a day, a banana shows up at the Liberty Science Center and complains about a pain in its side. And that means it’s time for some visiting kids to dress up like surgeons and scrub nurses, take a scalpel and go to work.

That’s the cover story, anyway.

What’s really happening is that kids are learning about science and enjoying it. Read the rest of this entry »

Maryland Science Center Recieves $1m Gift from MetLife Foundation

The Maryland Science Center has received a $1 million gift from a major insurance firm to help fund an innovative exhibition about cell biology research that will open next year.

MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of New York-based insurer MetLife – formerly known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. – donated the funds to support the coming show, Cells: The Universe Inside Us, which will go on display at the Science Center in March 2009.

“We’re using technology to let visitors experience what happens on the most basic level inside our bodies,” Science Center President and CEO Van Reiner said yesterday. “We’re partnering with experts from the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and with cell-imaging companies around the country that are using new technology to understand what goes on at the cellular level.”

The 4,000-square-foot permanent exhibit will cost about $2.5 million to create, Reiner said. After the exhibit opens in Baltimore, a smaller version of it will travel to science museums around the country for the next five years.

(read entire article)

Orlando Science Center’s inner view of video games attracts record crowd

The shooter fired quickly, hardly flinching from the recoil of the M-4 rifle and consistently hitting the target — a black silhouette in the desert.

Then Linda Descheneaux turned to her 8-year-old grandson.  “If Nana can do it, you can do it!”

The moment wasn’t unusual for Otronicon, the Orlando Science Center’s annual convention of everything video game-related. Visitors of all ages and ability levels have spent the past three days testing their mettle in games from Pac-Man to Halo 3 to military simulators, and, organizers say, learning about the art and science behind the games.

The event closes to the public tonight. Starting Tuesday, it will be open only for school field trips.

If the third-annual event keeps pace with last year, it will have attracted about 18,000 people when it wraps up Friday. Organizers said Saturday’s crowd of 3,000 broke a record for daily attendance.

(entire article)