Presenting Current Science and Research: A New Model for Exhibit Making

April 1st, 2004 - March 31st, 2011 | PROJECT

The Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) will carry out a museum-wide initiative to distribute exhibits and programs about new science and research among its core exhibits. The project goal is to redefine science for visitors as a dynamic human endeavor that is rich in discovery and relevant to their lives, as well as to position SMM as a resource for complex science and science issues. The project includes Current Science Central (500 sq ft) plus three Current Science Zones (250-300 sq ft) distributed among existing galleries (Mississippi River, Human Body, Experiment). Standardized formats (e.g., newscast scripts, quiz questions, multimedia kiosks, bulletin/graffiti boards) will provide frameworks that simplify the constant need for updating content and increase the ability to respond quickly. Target audiences are families, school groups, teachers, teens and lifelong learners from among the 850,000 annual visitors; involvement of the Youth Science Center will engage underserved audiences. Project collaborators are researchers (University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, Gentra Systems, 3M and JPL), as well as media (Physics Today, television and radio). The science museum field will benefit from the experience gained through this project.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Front-end Research for Current Science Exhibits
Current Science Formative Evaluation: Visitors' Perceptions and Use of Exhibits in 'Current Science Central'
Science Buzz

Team Members

Liza Pryor, Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Cari Dwyer, Former Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Mark Dahlager, Co-Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Paul Martin, Co-Principal Investigator, Science Museum of Minnesota


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0337389
Funding Amount: 1547901


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Families | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Life science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits