This Week in Informal Stem Education (ISE): NABI Summit, AAM Meeting, Boost Conference

May 1st, 2015

This week in informal STEM (ISE) education, we highlight the New York Times coverage of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action Fund, the NABI Summit, AAM Meeting, Boost Conference and the CAISE “Informal Science & Environmental Education” Twitter chat.

New York Times Article on the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action Fund

The New York Times published an article this week highlighting the ocean conservation efforts of the New England Aquarium via microgrants awarded through their Marine Conservation Action Fund. We asked Billy Spitzer,Vice President for Programs, Exhibits and Planning at the New England Aquarium, for a brief statement on the program:

It is so helpful to have a program like MCAF at the New England Aquarium. It provides so many great examples of how committed people can work together to make a difference for ocean conservation. Their passion and sense of hope are inspiring, and we are able to share these success stories with our visitors through graphics, media, and interpretation. When we have the opportunity to bring MCAF grantees to Boston, they really help to inspire youth program participants and others, and we are able to give the grantees a broader platform for sharing their work through presentations to the public. We are working to integrate them even more strongly into our exhibits and programs in the future.

2015 American Alliance of Museums Meeting

The week opened with the 2015 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Meeting in Atlanta, GA. While the meeting covers many museum-related topics beyond STEM and informal education, the Education, Curation & Evaluation track featured sessions such as Beyond Field Trips: Museums and the Next Era of Education and Beyond the Walls: Innovative Museum-School Partnerships. Check out the program for more details on conversations at the meeting, or browse #AAM2015 on Twitter.

BOOST Conference

Currently underway in Palm Springs, CA is the 2015 BOOST Conference, organized by Best Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Collaborative, and billed as “the nation’s largest, most recognized and comprehensive conference for after school and out-of-school time professionals”. The schedule is filled with presentations, events, exhibits, film screenings, and master classes. You can follow the action on Twitter with #BOOSTConference.

National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) Summit

118 + participants from universities, labs, large facilities, membership associations, science centers, museums and federal agencies met this week at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for NABI’s 3rd annual summit to continue working together to strengthen connections, identify and evaluate promising practices, and aggregate and manage the knowledge base for this growing network of professional activity ripe with synergistic opportunities for collaboration with informal STEM education.

Informal Science & Environmental Education Twitter Chat

CAISE hosted its second Twitter chat on Thursday, April 30. Participants responded to six questions related to the topic of Informal Science & Environmental Education, which prompted thoughtful discussion from educators and environmental organizations across the country. Read our Storify for a recap of the event, and stay tuned for our next Twitter chat(topic TBD). Follow CAISE (@informalscience) and use #informalscience to keep the conversation going. What are your informal science education news items from this week? Please share them in the comments below. If you have tips and leads for next week’s round-up, send them to us at