Science Discovery Center Ideas

Albert W. Ruesink ruesink at INDIANA.EDU
Thu Dec 10 15:47:40 EST 1998

David and others--
   Here in Bloomington, Indiana (pop. about 100,000) we have recently
established a hands-on community science center called Wonderlab, which
must be quite similar to what you envision.  For information about our
effort, I suggest you phone them at (812) 337-1337 or e-mail the director
or activity development Greta Faurote (gfaurote at
On 10 Dec 1998, David W. Kramer wrote:

> I am serving on a community task force designing a new science discovery
> center for children (and their teachers, parents, etc).  Yes, we do not
> call it a "museum" because it will be a hands-on place, not a place with
> specimens and dioramas.
> I would appreciate input from Plant-Ed correspondents re
> 1) Concepts (philosophies, approaches, etc.)  For example, we are reserving
> a large amount of space for traveling exhibits so people will come back
> often.
> 2) Similar science discovery centers, especially in smaller communities
> (the area we will serve is approximately 200,000), that we might contact or
> visit for ideas.
> 3) Specific suggestions for plant biology activities that would work in a
> science center.  It has been determined that the emphasis will be on
> physical sciences including earth science because that's where the
> elementary school curriculum seems to be in our area and the place where
> the schools need the most help but there will also be some life science
> themes.  We will emphasize self-directed activities but will also have
> "stages" where "experts" ("wizards"?) will give demos.  We need suggestions
> for both kinds of activities.
> 4) Suggestions about the human elements:  training volunteers, involving
> teachers, cross-generational activities, etc.
> 5) Names of persons who might be consultants for this kind of project.
> 6) Everything else! .......INCLUDING FUNDING!
> Members of the task force have visited several museums/science centers in
> Ohio and other states and we have a paid consultant who has experience with
> exhibit design at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus,
> OH.  It's not as though we're struggling to figure this out but we are
> casting a very wide net to be sure we have many good ideas.
> Thanks in advance for your responses.
> Dave
> *********************
> David W. Kramer, Ph.D.
> Asst. Prof. of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
> Ohio State University at Mansfield
> 1680 University Drive
> Mansfield, OH  44906-1547
> Phone:  (419) 755-4344      FAX:  (419) 755-4367
> e-mail:  kramer.8 at

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