Suitcase Science

June 1st, 2011 | EVALUATION

Suitcase Science is a community-inspired theatre program and exhibit that highlights many scientific disciplines, including anthropology, biology, chemistry, geology, sociology and material culture. Its development was funded through a Legacy grant from the state of Minnesota. To help generate topics and ideas to include in the Suitcase Science show and exhibit, SMM held several workshops in communities around the state. SMM staff invited local community members to bring two objects of value, meaning, or significance to the workshop and to share their story about them. These stories and objects were the inspiration for the science-based stories that SMM staff developed for the Suitcase Science exhibit and show. While the theatrical performance for Suitcase Science generally occurs at the museum, exhibit pieces were developed for each community that participated in workshops. These consist of a small suitcase filled with objects and their science stories, as told by community members and SMM writers. These exhibit pieces are housed inside an old suitcase that is on display at a library in each community. A Suitcase Science book accompanies the exhibit and contains photos of people, their objects, and their stories from across the state. The objects and people in the book are those stories the museum staff used as fodder for the Suitcase Science theatrical production. This evaluation focuses on how the theatrical presentation of Suitcase Science was received by SMM visitors and community members around the state.



Team Members

Sarah Cohn, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Science Museum of Minnesota, Contributor
Scott Van Cleave, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Al Onkka, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Zdanna King, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Chemistry | Education and learning science | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Life science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Summative
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Theater Programs