Featured News from the Field (Archive)

We are excited to share the blogs, reports, and other news from the Informal STEM Education community!

View recently published reports and blogs.

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“Science Festival” may not mean what we think it means: an analysis of how researchers and practitioners use this term

The modern science festival movement has grown significantly since the Edinburgh International Science Festival launched in 1989. Hundreds of science festivals now occur annually and vary widely. This article examines how the term “science festival” is used within research and practice. We find that most research articles fail to describe the science festivals they study. A subsequent analysis of festival websites and other publicly available information confirms the wide variability of science festival formats, which suggests the need for descriptive information about science festivals in scholarly work.

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A Tool for Transparency, Accountability, and Change

Outwardly, museums often celebrate risk-taking and experimentation, but inwardly can be a different story, especially when it comes to DEAI work. How can we overcome this tendency and embrace big shifts, owning mistakes along the way?

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Making Visible the Invisible – Understanding Intersectionality

In this report, The Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) illuminates the dynamics of intersectionality in the STEM enterprise and how more information about intersectional identities is needed to remove barriers to participation in STEM. CEOSE hopes this report will encourage others to participate in conversations about their differences in experiences with people who have different overlapping identities and start to analyze ways to make improved opportunities for students, personnel and fellow colleagues in safe and inclusive environments where diverse STEM talent is an asset.

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12 guiding questions to improve the accessibility of your next virtual event

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed virtual events. Connecting online suddenly became the only way to convene groups large and small, for short meetings or multi-day conferences, and community managers often found themselves developing new meeting formats or learning to use new platforms and tools.  Learn from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement about the guiding questions to help you think about how to improve the accessibility of your community events. 

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Advancing the Conversation on Scaling National Informal STEM Programs

This past May, the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) and the Education Development Center (EDC) brought together voices across the informal STEM learning ecosystem to advance the conversation on scaling national informal STEM programs. They found that the research on scaling programs is rooted in formal (K-12) education and does not consider the unique opportunities and barriers of informal learning settings like museums, afterschool programs, and libraries.

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SciPEP 2023: New Insights for Communicating Basic Science – Executive Summary

SciCommBites was invited to cover SciPEP 2023 and was there every step of the way to bring the newest research and practice on communicating basic science. This SciCommBites summary is the first of a series of three posts covering the two-day conference presentations and discussions.

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“¡Fuera Spacex!”: Imagining New Stem Futures In Latinx Communities

“¡Fuera SpaceX! is a response and a rallying cry to oust the company causing yet untold levels of economic, social, and environmental damages. It is also an organizing tool for the future: the struggle to have community voices heard and respected has spurred the need for a nuanced discussion on how interest and participation in STEM, especially with regard to Latinx learners, can be encouraged without perpetuating the same harms the community already faces.” Learn more in a blog post about the program.

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Doing the Work While Doing the Work

How can social justice organizations prioritize mental health issues while finding ways for their staff and members to stay in solidarity with each other?