A few of the Bradbury’s team recently hit the road to attend the annual conference for the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), held this year in Charlotte, NC. Operations manager Jennifer Olsen and educators Mel Strong and Chelsea Redman enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other informal science professionals, discuss best practices and new trends in the field and have their own interactive, fun experiences at some of Charlotte’s most fascinating museums.
“For me, the conference helped me to connect with like-minded individuals and really understand more of the museum world,” says Olsen. “I was able to meet and touch base with people from the Lawrence Hall of Science. We have two traveling exhibits there that they are using as part of their school group museum explorations.” The Bradbury’s “Building Immunity” and “The Ribosome” exhibits will be on view at the Lawrence Hall of Science through May 2024. “It was also really great to talk to the folks at the Lederman Science Center about their programs and their experiences as Fermilab’s science center,” Olsen says.
Strong and Redman were among the conference’s featured presenters. They gave a talk about designing themed, hands-on experiences for school group visits, from the practical standpoint of a small science and history museum. Key topics that caused a lot of buzz and discussion at this year’s conference included AI and climate change, and how science and technology centers can be places to generate public discussion around these issues.
The conference was not just about networking and presentations. Attendees also had opportunities to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte’s Discovery Place science museum, which included an interactive scavenger hunt, a dance party and a sweet-and-sour taste test using a sense-warping miraculin pill.
The Bradbury team had an informative and inspiring time at the ASTC conference and are already looking forward to next year’s gathering in Chicago.
Did you know that membership with our non-profit friends group, the Bradbury Science Museum Association (BSMA), enrolls you in the ASTC Passport Program? You’ll be eligible for benefits like free general admission at other participating science centers. Learn more about the perks of joining the BSMA.