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ERIC Number: ED508733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 59
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
TEAMS III: Summative Evaluation Report
St. John, Mark; Carroll, Becky; Helms, Jen; Robles, Dawn; Stelmah, Lynn
Inverness Research
Over the course of three rounds of consecutive funding, the National Science Foundation (NSF) invested in the Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science (TEAMS) collaborative. Since 1996, the TEAMS collaborative museums have developed traveling exhibitions and related education materials to circulate through each other's museums, and then more broadly to the larger field of science museums. Museums participating in the TEAMS collaborative include: (1) Catawba Science Center in Hickory, North Carolina; (2) Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois; (3) The Family Museum of Arts and Science in Bettendorf, Iowa;(4) The Health Adventure in Asheville, North Carolina; (5) Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont; (6) Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, New York; and (7) Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York. The third round of funding began in 2004. In addition to developing two copies of four separate traveling exhibitions and related education programs, the TEAMS museums engaged in a shared research effort. Specifically, the collaborative-wide research project focused on applying a socio-cultural learning lens to conversations at exhibits, and how to design exhibits such that the conversations that took place would promote learning. Thus, the third round of funding was intended to produce both a set of traveling exhibitions as well as knowledge for the field about engaging in research into conversations and designing exhibits that promote conversation. Within the group of seven collaborative museums, three pairs of museums in close geographic proximity to one another worked together to create three of the exhibitions. Four exhibitions were created in this round of funding, including: (1) From Here to There (Sciencenter and Rochester Museum); (2) Spin (Catawba and Health Adventure); (3) Get the Message (Discovery Museum and Family Museum); and (4) Toys: The Inside Story (Montshire Museum). This report highlights findings from the evaluation of the third round of TEAMS funding. Because the focal point of the collaborative's work centered on learning about how to design exhibits that promote conversation, and the application of that learning to the exhibitions being developed, the findings shared in this report focus on two key areas: (1) a summary of the research project--i.e., the design of this focal area of work, and the larger lessons learned from the effort; and (2) a summary of the exhibitions--in particular, the quality of the resulting exhibitions vis a vis conversations. TEAMS Summative Evaluation Site Visit Memos are appended. (Contains 5 footnotes
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Inverness Research